LOS ANGELES : Protesters Urge Zoo to Use Funds to Aid Animals

More than 30 uniformed zookeepers were joined Wednesday by animal rights activists in asking the city's Recreation and Parks Commission to reject a plan by Los Angeles Zoo administrators to spend most of $25 million from a voter tax initiative on a veterinary hospital, children's educational facility and a new main gate.

The protesters said the money should instead be used for improvements that will directly benefit animals. A statement from the Ark Trust complained that the plan would spend the money for "cosmetic surgery, while the animals continue to suffer."

But zoo officials said that much of the money will go to upgrade animal habitats and that general zoo improvements will help expand attendance and thus produce revenue for future improvements.

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