SF Zoo Hires Animal Psychologist

A real-life Dr. Doolittle is on the scene.

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Sep 13, 2012  |  Updated 4:34 PM PDT
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The animals are restless. Here comes "a real-life Dr. Doolittle" to the rescue.

The psychological well-being of exotic animals staying at the San Francisco Zoo will be attended to by trained psychologist Terry Maple, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
 
Maple isn't so much an animal Freudian, but a zookeeper who knows what animals want. For instance, "animals are really better off if they work for their food," he told the newspaper. This means that tigers have hidden meat, and polar bears find their meat wrapped in ice, the newspaper reporteed.
 
As for "animal whispering?" "That's not a crazy idea," Maple told the newspaper.
 
Maple will be part of a new push to reform zoo operations in the wake of the fatal Christmas Day 2007 tiger attack, the newspaper reported.
 
Activists from PETA consider zoos to be "animal prisons," but workers like Maple on hand may ameliorate some concerns.

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