Costly to keep the pandas
in Toronto Zoo.
$3 million shelter renovation
$2.6 million annual maintenance, including
$550,000 food flown in from Memphis
$1 million hosting fee to China.
Now they reside in Calgary Zoo
at even greater cost.
$30 million habitat and infrastructure.
– 21,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor space –
featuring a waterfall, lush vegetation,
both heated and cooled rocks
for utmost comfort.
In the back, a nursing den
in case of pregnancy.
Fresh food from the mountains of China
– nine varieties of bamboo –
flown in twice a week
for $1.5 million annually.
grows to $1.4 million.
Meanwhile at Canada-U.S. border crossings,
asylum seekers from Haiti and Nigeria.
They cause a housing crisis,
says Ontario Premier.
We should not pay for that situation,
says Ontario Social Services Minister.
We have no more room for migrants,
says Toronto Mayor.
(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday)