Most of us, the young especially but many of us who are older, too, love animals. We enjoy our pets and want to take good care of them.
We like nature programs on TV, on which we see the wonders of live animals roaming in free ranges, in our own country, in the wilds of Africa or elsewhere.
Many of us also like to visit a zoo, to see exotic animals that typically are well cared for. Some people lament the animals' lack of freedom, even though they are well fed and medicated, and get loving attention.
We are upset, however, if we hear stories of neglect or mistreatment of animals, or even when unfortunate but natural events occur.
Hank, a chimpanzee popular at the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park, was found dead at the age of 42 recently. Heart problems may have been to blame. Whatever the cause, it was reported that 200 people attended Hank's memorial last Saturday! He was clearly popular.
Several other animals have also died at the zoo in a relatively short period of time, and a federal inspection found some problems at the zoo that might have contributed to a few of the deaths. Zoo officials have acknowledged some problems and challenged some of the other findings.
We should strive to ensure that all animals under human care get the proper, humane attention they need.