The emotional opinion piece by the vindictive PETA, an anti-zoo organization, was extremely unkind and accusative ("Letter to the Editor: Where the blame lies," July 23). CALM is our local zoo. It is here to inform and educate all of us on to the importance of wildlife in California and elsewhere. A trip to CALM can teach us all that we have a responsibility to ensure the well-being and preservation of wildlife, an important awareness as we pursue our various livelihoods.

The zoo is administered by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, and it is totally dedicated to making it a wonderful experience, not just to the hundreds of students that attend daily during the school year, but to the three or four family generations that may attend for a joyful and memorable experience. We all get to see and learn about animals such as condors that otherwise would possibly never be seen, and they are well cared for.

Calling for CALM’s closure because a few animals unfortunately died on site totally ignores the fact that there are hundreds of animals that are each year brought to the facility to be treated, saved and even returned to their native surroundings. I don’t know the full story as to why the animals died, but it happens. If you knew the zoo staff and volunteers, you would realize that they are dedicated to the animals as if they were their own. Many of the wildlife residents have been on site for many years, and when there is a loss the entire staff truly grieves. 

PETA clearly has an agenda and is way out of line. Think of this: we have many fine hospitals in Bakersfield that care for us, cure our ills and send us back into society. On the other hand, everyone isn’t saved and people die almost daily. You probably won’t hear from PETA asking for all hospitals to immediately be closed. Please know that those that give daily care to the animals and plants at CALM are dedicated professionals that only want the best for all wildlife at the Zoo.

Stanford Eschner, Bakersfield