Written by Dignan
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Topics: Zoo, Panda

Friday, 31 August 2007

image for Zoo Apologizes to Kindergarten Classes for Putting Baby Panda in Lion's Den
The gift store - a lasting reminder of Snuggles

TEXAS - Several Mendacity Springs ISD kindergarten classes were sent into extreme hysterics yesterday when a mathematical error took the life of orphaned baby panda, Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot. Zoo officials are still investigating the mishap that happened early yesterday afternoon, saying only that there was some question if the zoo had six or seven Barbary Lions in captivity.

"The children were screaming, crying, and running in every direction. I'm sure they'll have nightmares for months, if not years. I personally have never seen anything so horrible in my whole life," comments a still shaken teacher, Laura Zipskin.

After a long interaction with the kindergarten students, the docile Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot was put into a large wooded and water environment, usually reserved for the Barbary Lion den. While the kindergarten classes looked on and Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot got familiar with his new environment, a testosterone-crazed, hidden and hungry Barbary Lion by the name of Drake pounced on Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot, ripping him to pieces in front of the group of children, educators and zoo officials.

Mendacity Springs ISD was part of a special pilot program over two years in the making. Teaming up with the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries and Jim Henson Studios, their plan was to create an interactive, educational experience for children all across the globe. Nearly a thousand enrolled kindergarten children in the Mendacity Springs ISD were mailed a Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot Come Smile and Sing with Me DVD, a Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot T-Shirt, and a Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot stuffed animal the summer before they started their kindergarten year.

"My team spent over eight months putting together stories and songs to go with the Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot experience. We were deep into pre-production on the first Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot feature length CGI film. It's all fucked now," comments Vice President of Marketing for Jim Henson Studios, Fozzy Dickerson.

Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot was a rare Giant Panda, a near extinct species that some scientists believe have a world population of less than 1,000. The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries spent an exhaustive year and a half searching the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan, China for the right baby Giant Panda. Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot was rescued by Sichuan environmentalists outside the Wolong Nature Reserve when his mother, Hugs 'n Loves-A-Lot, was found mauled and dead in a bear trap. Malnourished and extremely dehydrated, Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot held on for life at the Sichuan Veterinary Rehabilitation Facilities for nearly three weeks before being transported to the Mendacity Springs Zoo earlier this summer.

I got the chance to cover the press conference held by the Mendacity Springs Zoo earlier this evening. An unemotional looking Zoo President, Steven Michael Irwin, released this statement:

"This tragedy affects so many different people on so many different levels. I saw the looks of joy on the faces of the children who were all wearing their Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot T-shirts after we spent nearly three hours letting each child hold and cuddle with Snuggles. The Mendacity Springs Zoo extends its sincerest apologies to the students, families and educators of Mendacity Springs Independent School District, as well as Jim Henson Studios and The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries."

With the crowd of reporters silent and broken, this reporter holds back his tears long enough to get out one simple question. From the bottom of my anguished heart I scream, "WHAT ABOUT SNUGGLES SMILES-A-LOT YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH?" With my voice seeming to reverberate for miles, the reporters covering the conference do not focus any attention on me and my tears. We all look to the hard-faced Steven Michael Irwin. The Mendacity Springs Zoo President simply looks down at his prepared statement on the podium and breaks down into tears.

God speed Snuggles Smiles-A-Lot, God Speed.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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