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Published:Friday | April 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Disaster at Hope Zoo

Poor Hope Zoo is still struggling year after year to survive and keep at least the last few remaining animals that they have in reasonable condition.

Now a terrible disaster has taken place there - the horrible deaths of the tapirs, those large, exotic South American mammals that have been on exhibit and held me, for one, in awe and admiration for many years.

I have seen nothing in the press about them and only heard what happened through word of mouth, as the incident was reported to the zoo by a visitor who saw the unusual behaviour and was concerned. It seems that they had some trauma - either a loud or strange noise, or dogs, or a virus or bacteria - and were racing around in their enclosure, slamming into the walls and breaking their legs, etc. There were two of them and they both died horrible, painful deaths, which they certainly did not deserve.

Who is responsible? What happened to them? Same old story - does anyone even care?

- Sadan Tayad, Kingston 10

Boycott that 'music' stuff

Kevin Sangster's Gleaner letter of April 7 explores, in a most thoughtful way, much of all our concerns and issues about what seems to be passing for contemporary music, at least one particular brand of it. In short, much of the time, with its too loud, too raunchy, too unmelodic, too meaningless, too self-centred, too unimaginative and definitely unhelpful product, it is just a bit 'too much'.

Yet, aside from the type of example suggested by the shouting of 'fire' where there is none in a crowded public place, most of us appear to most liberally tolerate the right of freedom of expression, regardless of how irritating or offensive that expression is. On the other hand, in most instances there's not much that can be done about the would-be appropriateness of its individual time and place occurrence.

Yet, Mr Sangster does forget the one most important and, in the end, singularly decisive factor in the very existence of such so-called 'musical product'. The people producing it are at least making enough money to continue doing so. And there's the rub.

If Kevin and the rest of us would like it all to end, or at least dramatically change much of what we believe is produced, then we have to learn to spend 'far less', if anything at all, in our consumption of it. In short, we have to stop buying the stuff, stop listening to it and, in so doing, stop supporting those who produce it for our entertainment.

- Ed McCoy,