Burien Native Spearheading Effort To Save Zoo's Nocturnal House
Scott Gifford was born and raised in Normandy Park, spent a lot of time in Burien, went to school and got his first job here and now works as an attorney in Seattle.
His passion now?
To “save the vampire bats!” (and other animals) which live in the Nocturnal House at Woodland Park Zoo.
Due to budget constraints, the Zoo is planning on shutting down this exhibit, which Gifford (and many others) consider to be its best. In fact, Gifford is so passionate about this cause that he’s spearheading a “Save the Nocturnal House” rally at the zoo this Sunday at 1pm (learn more about it at his Facebook page here, which has over 9,000 “Fans”).
“The Nocturnal Houseâ€¦is by far the best exhibit at the zoo and is pretty unique,” Gifford said. “While times are tough, we need to not lose the things that make the Zoo so great. For many this is their only chance to actually see the wonderful creatures that inhabit the nighttime world.”
The Nocturnal House contains many unique animals that are of course nocturnal, like bats, sloths, armadillos and others. If you’ve ever been through it, you know how unique it is â€“ visitors must first stay in a darkened lobby to adjust their eyes, and are required to be very quiet as you meander through a winding hallway with glass enclosures on both sides. Once adjusted, you then enter a darkened, meandering hallway where you can watch bats hanging upside-down, sloths scampering around and much more on both sides. Its a favorite of children and adults, but was built in the 70s and is in a rundown building.
According to a press release from the zoo:
“The Night Exhibit is very expensive to operate. It is an older building with very high operating costs and its energy use is one of the highest in the zoo and inconsistent with our sustainability goals. We knew we could place some of the animals elsewhere in the zoo, and move others to other zoos.
Over the next two to three years, we will re-examine the building to come up with a long-term, sustainable operation.
Closing it will save about $300,000 in operating costs annually.”
Gifford is asking folks who are interested in saving this exhibit to show up at the zoo this Sunday at 1pm for a rally in front of it. If you can’t attend, Gifford adds:
“You could also make a donation to the zoo and state that it is for saving the Nocturnal House. A monthly one even that you will stop if they do shut it down. Show them that we not only love the Nocturnal House, but are willing to step up and help with the cost of maintaining it.”
To donate to the Zoo online, click here.
“Save the vampire bats!!!” says Gifford.
And he’s not joking.