Memorandum to Staff at Auckland Zoo from Management

Dear staff members

The upcoming visit by Standard and Poor’s is a potential turning point in the fortunes of this organisation. It affords us an ideal opportunity to implement urgent structural change. A credit rating downgrade at this difficult time would be a catastrophe for us. We must do everything we can to avoid one.

ith that in mind, Zoo management have undertaken a systematic review of all Zoo activities. We have outlined below five critical actions that need to be taken to ensure the ongoing viability of the organisation and its animals.

We need to incentivise success

The tigers are a major drain on the Zoo’s resources. They sleep for most of the day and subsist on handouts. This situation needs to be urgently rectified if we are to become a more progressive forward-looking organisation.

Having a sector of the animal population simply unwilling to pull its weight in these difficult times is unsustainable in the long term. Appropriate measures will incentivise these animals into showing more of the wild aggression our paying customers want to see.

For that reason management has decided to no longer provide food for the tigers.

We must remove barriers to entry

There is a mountain of empirical evidence to show that the imposition of artificial barriers has a deleterious effect. For that reason we will shortly commence a staged removal of all fences, cages and walls. By encouraging the free movement of animals without restriction, we will be ensuring the continuing viability of this organisation.

In the first 12 months we will reduce all of these barriers by 20%. Further reductions will occur until 2015, when all barriers to movement have been eliminated.

We must provide choice

The removal of barriers will also promote choice, which will in turn allow animals to compete with each other. Rather than being prevented from attending parts of the Zoo due to restrictive animal zoning rules, animals will be free to go where they please on the site.

Some of our critics will claim such a move will disadvantage the smaller and weaker animals. On the contrary, the provision of choice will incentivise smaller animals, like the meercats and otters, to compete with the lions, rhinos and hippos, where previously Zoo regulation prevented them from doing so.

Competition is the key to success

Everything we do must ensure natural competition between animals is encouraged and advanced. The reduction of barriers will greatly assist in this regard.

However, urgent action needs to be taken. We believe strongly that competition can be enhanced by moving the lions from their previous enclosure and into the zebra enclosure, so they may compete with the zebras for food and resources. We are convinced that this will promote competition between the lions and zebras.

We must cut spending

It is critical to the survival of the Zoo that costs be slashed. Over the last nine years or so this organisation has seen a culture of extravagance, with rampant overstaffing. We believe the removal of all animal barriers will take care of staffing levels, but we need to move quickly to reduce costs.

For that reason we are announcing, effective immediately, an across the board 20% reduction in meal sizes. The lions will be exempt. They are critical revenue earners for the Zoo and they need to be fully resourced.


Let me finish by reiterating how critical the wellbeing of the lions is to the Zoo. Without these brave animal leaders our organisation will be rudderless. So everything we do must be for the betterment of the lions.

We must do everything we can to keep the fat cats happy.