BRONX, New York - The national recession has now hit the financially-strapped, world-famous Bronx Zoo.
Zoo Director Evelyn Muckenmuck said that in her 27 years as zoo director she has never seen a more sadly melancholic situation.
She said that so far she has been forced to literally lay off dozens of antelopes, zebras, and flamingos.
Muckenmuck said that tomorrow she will be letting go a rhino, a hippo, and a zippo.
The Bronx Zoo Committee Assistant Chairman, Amos Winklepeck, said that the BZC which oversees the day-to-day operation of the zoo stated in an in-house memorandum that the yearly animal food budget which had been $1 million has now been slashed down to $19,000 a year.
Winklepeck said that yesterday, he personally witnessed a monkey eyeing a koala bear while holding a knife and fork.
And later that afternoon he actually saw an ostrich putting ketchup on a penguin.
Zoo Director Muckenmuch said that on average about two million people visit the 114 year-old institution annually.
He remarked that so far this year the Bronx Zoo has had a total of 917 visitors and that includes the three social workers who recently came in to give one of the older giraffes an enema.
Muckenmuck said that just this morning he was told by one of his zoo employees that he had observed two of the kangaroos fighting over who would get to eat the empty food dish.
As he looked out the window, he could clearly see one of the zoo vultures trying to put an otter between two slices of bread.
Muckenmuck said that these are not pretty pictures and that is one of the reasons why a lot of the parents are keeping their kids away from the zoo.
He lamented that it's sad to see all of these wonderful animals turning into cannibals. And the way things are going Muckenmuck says that he's afraid that before too long the zoo is going to resemble a cafeteria.
It's hard to believe but one of the zoo workers said that he found a cookbook in the lion cage, which is located right next to the tortoise exhibit. The book's title is Ten Quick and Easy Ways To Prepare Turtle Soup.
Just about the only two animals that are immune from going on the food menu are the skunks and the porcupines.
"It is a very sad situation," Muckenmuck stated. "You have no idea how heartbreaking it is to see a little 7-year-old boy looking at a monkey who is holding up a sign that reads, "Will monkey around for food."