To me it's something Americans should be concerned about and should be aware of.
OK picture me standing on my soap box and try not to doze off.
I was born in Washington D.C. and my very favorite thing to do was to go to the Zoo. When I was a child it wasn't much of a zoo, just animals in a tiny cage pacing back and forth. My Mom had a way of not saying much but at the same time leaving a lasting imprint on me. She said "how would you like to live in one of those cages?" So while visiting the zoo was fun she made me understand that we need to care for those that can't care for themselves.
In the late 70's a shake up occurred at the zoo and a new director took over. It wasn't long before there were new enclosures for the hoofed animals, then the seals and the reptile house. They remade the cafeteria and it was a national treasure something we could be proud of. It was no San Diego Zoo but we had panda's and breeding was going on and people came to visit. I became a FONZ, don't laugh I was proud to have the sticker proclaiming me a Friend Of the National Zoo.
We moved to Georgia in 1987 and with us came the director of the zoo, he had been hired to remake the Atlanta Zoo, loosing a elephant was the last straw it seems. The Atlanta Zoo isn't much of a zoo really, it sort of specializes in gorilla's which is a plus for me since that's my favorite animal. We have the 4 million dollar Ford rain forest for the gorilla's. If your into gorilla's visit the Atlanta Zoo.
However our National Zoo is in disarray. My niece sent me some pictures of her children visiting the zoo and I was really saddened. So I did what I do, which is to fire off some emails to the director of the National Zoo and the Atlanta Zoo. Then I started reading about the Washington Zoo. It seems it's gotten as bad as the Atlanta Zoo once was. They have animals dying that no one can account for and no record of the actions taken.
They have a lot of proposals for things they "want" to change but from what I read, what they want to change is how people get around, and not much else was mentioned about the care of the animals.
http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11212&page=61 look to the right and you can read about the animal deaths.