IRVINE, CA--The new Ayn Rand Zoo, located in the same city that houses the Ayn Rand Institute and funded solely by private donors like Sheldon Adelson and Koch Industries, opened--and closed--last Wednesday in what Objectivist philosopher Leonard Peikoff is calling an "experiment in non-sustainability and individual rights."
The problem last Wednesday arose in the African section of the Zoo, which provides habitats for both animals that live in the savanna in Africa and those species that reside in the jungle. The two sections--the savanna and the jungle--abut each other, with a single fence between them. Also included in both habitats are "Endangered Species," or what Peikoff prefers to label "Competitive Species."
As part of the opening day festivities, the fence separating the two sections was raised.
Explained Peikoff, who runs both the Ayn Rand Institute and the Zoo named after her, "We wanted to present to our paying customers a habitat that more closely resembles the real world--what Alfred Lord Tennyson called in his poem In Memoriam 'Nature, red in tooth and claw.'"
Unfortunately for Peikoff and others who planned the new Zoo, most of the carnivores, in the course of a single day, nearly wiped out all of the herbivores and omnivores. The wide-open grassland of the savanna was littered with the mangled and half-eaten corpses of zebras, okapis, chimpanzees, bonobos, gazelles, and the occasional baby elephant.
Matters worsened when the still hungry carnivores--lions, cheetahs, tigers, and Wild African Dogs--having gotten a taste for blood, then jumped the fences surrounding their habitats and went after the paying customers in the Zoo. Ninety-two paying customers, sixty-four of them children, were killed by the voracious animals before a SWAT Team was called in to end the Randian experiment in individual rights and non-sustainability.
The opening day debacle is expected to cost the new Ayn Rand Zoo millions in lawsuits, but Peikoff, his bandaged arm still in a sling from an African Wild Dog attack, was undeterred, explaining, "I'm ecstatic! I'm sure Ayn Rand would have been very happy about the profits from our first day of business! As for the fatalities from our opening day, the paying customers (at least the adults) knew what they were paying for."
The Zoo is expected to re-open early next month, once the corpses are cleared away and the habitats restored, with the motto by Ayn Rand at the entrance still intact: "The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity."