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If you behave like a zoo animal, don't Facebook it

By: Brian McLeod

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 06:00 am

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A few unrelated events over the last month require some discussion.

The first issue involves the zoo in Edmonton’s river valley. Previously referred to as Storyland Valley Zoo, the facility has had numerous name changes and makeovers designed to answer some of the concerns expressed about the whole idea of zoos in the first place. Long ago, I lost track of the correct name for this zoo, but I’m sure you know the one I’m talking about.

A few weeks ago, the family decided that a trip to this zoo was a good idea. After all, much of the family lives in Calgary, and enjoys Calgary’s outstanding zoo, so it made sense to do the same thing in Edmonton. I was unable to join the family on this excursion, which, after reviewing their adventure, definitely put me in the class of being the lucky one.

Greeted by mud and more mud in the unpaved parking lot, our little explorers bravely pushed on and tried to ignore all of the construction that was underway. While they looked long and hard, they had difficulty finding any animals, and ended up only seeing a ferret (who they think was dead), an owl (who apparently dropped in for a visit and is not a resident), and a few other mouldy creatures of unknown species.

They were also unable to find the zoo’s star attraction, Lucy, the African Elephant. Employees advised our troop that Lucy was out for a walk, but the staff must have noted the skepticism in their eyes, as they offered to show them some elephant poop to prove the animal’s existence. Our visitors declined, as they were by now in a hurry to leave, due to the fact that there were no operating washrooms on site, and no facilities for serving food.

On the way out, our five-year-old granddaughter asked her mom: “How come we didn’t see any animals?”

Since the zoo charged $42 in admission fees, that works out to about $5.50 per ounce of dead ferret. Disgraceful.

A second event was also a learning opportunity. The place where I am employed recently began running ads to fill a vacancy on the administration team. As is normal, multiple resumes were received.

As you probably know, it can be very difficult to get a real sense of a person from simply reading a resume, however my wife came up with the bright idea of going online and seeing if any of the individuals had a Facebook posting. She reasoned, and quite correctly, that a Facebook page was likely to tell us far more about the person, as compared to their resume. Not surprisingly, most of the applicants did have Facebook pages, and we definitely learned a lot – in fact – far too much!

One young man’s resume gave the impression of a solid, conservative individual – so far, so good. However, his Facebook page showed us a totally intoxicated individual with a beer in one hand and a rifle in the other.

A young woman’s resume left the reader with a sense of a mature, professional office manager. Unfortunately, her Facebook page focused on displaying, repeatedly, the young lady in various stages of undress, ranging from almost completely to no imagination required.

We are all unique, and while Facebook allows you to show the whole world just exactly who you are, think twice before showing the whole world just exactly who you are. It may not be a flattering picture.

Brian McLeod is a St. Albert resident.


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