Mon, April 06

Letter: Wildworks not a zoo and a good fit for Cornville


I am writing to support the move of Wildworks to Cornville. I believe that people who are opposed do not understand the mission of the organization. Wildworks is NOT a zoo. It is a wildlife refuge. It is not open to the public. Instead the animals are taken to schools and organizations for educational purposes.

On the issue of traffic: again, Wildworks is not open to the public. Only a small number of people work or volunteer there. There will be very small groups that would come in for private tours or special fundraising events. This is how money is raised to care for the animals. The number of events per year and the number of people involved in each event is limited and those numbers are in the plan that was presented to the board of supervisors. In terms of noise, none of these events include loud music or masses of people. It is important to note that Wildworks has never had a complaint from its current neighbors.

The issue has been raised concerning safety (specifically disease transmission from the animals). First and foremost, this is not a wildlife rehabilitation center/wildlife rescue. The animals at Wildworks are all permanent non-releasable residents that have been vaccinated, which is a requirement from the USDA (which is one of the permitting agencies). All new animals come through Game and Fish and are disease free.

I appreciate the concern from Cornville residents that they treasure their quiet community. I would question if the people of Cornville would prefer to have a number of houses built at that location? Houses with more people, more vehicles, using more resources, providing more noise and traffic than a quiet wildlife refuge which would fit in nicely into a rural setting with natural surroundings.

Ruth Foelber


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