Zoo Uses Animal Love as Marketing Ploy

The Kansas City Zoo is holding an adults-only “warm-up” to Valentine’s Day on the evening of February 5.  “Kiss and Tail” is the name of the event, and it features a presentation called “Love and Animals” focused on animal courtship rituals and mating. The cost of the three-hour event is $35 for non zoo members and $25 for members.

On the Kansas city zoo website, the event is described as “A Special Valentine’s Program about Jungle Love that separates the birds from the bees and the chimps from the chumps!” Another article describes the event as “Armed with an X-rated-if-you-aren’t-human slideshow, animal courtship expert Ron Magill will offer scientific answers to these and other burning questions…” (Source: pitch.com) The descriptions effectively use sex, although in an unconventional way, to market the event. Similarly, in Florida, dolphins are being used to draw in customers for Valentine’s Day as well, with the lure of kissing them.

The popularity of these events proves they are effective in bringing in profit. But is it right to use these animals to make money?

Valentine’s Day emerged as a money-making venture in 19th century England with mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards and retail candy. With the zoo and the dolphins, it appears that animals are now part of the profiteering mix. Considering the animals are already held in captivity, it hardly seems fair that money is made off of them. What do you think? Is this a clever way for people to learn about animal love? Or is animal exploitation an underlying issue?

Image Credit: schani

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101 comments

Marianna B M.

noted

colleen p.
colleen p.4 years ago

they don't let the animals in sancturies breed do they?

maybe it is best, wild cheetah go extinct, and no cheetah live in a zoo. it would be liking saying you support preserving culture, when you want those people to live like you do.

modrenizing the savages. 'tis a good idea no?

Vanessa S.
Vanessa S.5 years ago

Bill K. is absolutely right. If anybody feels the need to visit a place to see exotic animals, they should consider a sanctuary that puts the care and comfort of their animals first. Ome example of this is Noah's Lost Ark located Ohio.

Bill K.
Bill K.5 years ago

one dirty little secret of zoos is that zoo attendance is up when there are baby animals so zoos breed lots of babies. but these grow up to be unneeded and expensive to keep adults so many are sold to roadside zoos, private collections, or canned hunts.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago

No scruples, they just see money and therefor will exploit the hell out of anything!

Mervi R.
Mervi R.5 years ago

Seriously, what are these people thinking...?

Rose N.
Rose N.5 years ago

Thank you for posting.

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

Live animals should never be used in marketing!

Paulo Ribeiro
Paulo Ribeiro5 years ago

No words! No words!

Tiffany Cox
Gwyn Oswin5 years ago

I love zoos and know they must get creative to make money for proper animal care, but I left our zoo (I volunteered 10 years) when it became "tacky" and animals no longer came first. One beer night a summer is a fundraiser; weekly beer nights makes the zoo into a bar! Feeding free-flight budgies is fun, but how many are harmed by people stepping on them in the enclosure or swatting budgies off their heads? These are BAD money ideas. I don't mind the Val Day program, if it's more like a "Nature" show (and not really raunchy) and not using live animals. But kissing dolphins? I worry about diseases being passed to the dolphins or dolphins being forced to cooperate with paying guests. Not good. Stick to clever educational programs that don't stress animals. Zoos do have a place and must earn money for quality care, but there's a line that's being crossed FAR too often these days. We're starting to slide back to the Zoo Dark Ages when they were all about amusing the humans.