Bronx Zoo Fights for Funding with Video Starring Porcupine

The agency in charge of the Bronx Zoo has released a video starring a porcupine named Wednesday to rally support for full funding of New York State's zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums in fiscal year 2010.

Currently, 76 zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums in the state share about $9 million in state funding each year, said John Calvelli, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo.

The video is part of efforts by zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums across the state (The Coalition of Living Museums) to convince state legislators in Albany to reject Governor David Paterson's proposal to eliminate state funding for the institutions in fiscal year 2010.  

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s facilities that would be affected by these cuts would be the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium, Calvelli said.

"Our latest video with Wednesday, the porcupine, is a humorous take on a very serious issue facing our state's living museums," Calvelli said. "We are hoping Wednesday can convince New Yorkers and all others who visit our facilities to contact Albany and petition the draconian cuts proposed by the governor."

{{ video="LS_090319_WCS_Porcu" title="Unemployed Porcupine Copes with Draconian Budget Cuts" caption="The continuing saga of Wednesday the Porcupine, recently laid-off from her vital job educating, illuminating and intellectually entertaining thousands of New Yorkers each day." }}

The fictional video, in which Wednesday appears in an unemployment office, follows a previous video released in January in which she was "fired" from the Bronx Zoo due to pending funding cuts from the state, coupled with a volatile economy. Both videos were produced at no cost to the Wildlife Conservation Society, using in-house talent.

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