"Well, we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop."
- Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
The best satire mirrors reality, and The Onion often meets that mark. As ridiculous as it may be, I have, on occasion, had visitors or callers ask about renting zoo animals. Maybe they want an owl to go along with their Harry Potter costume for a Halloween party. Maybe they want a snake or a tarantula for a practical joke. Maybe they want some goats to mow their lawn.
The answer, of course, is always "no."
Sure, we take animals off-grounds, to schools or to fairs or to community centers. In all of these cases, we always accompany the animals and are with them the entire time. Also, we try to make sure that the animals are being presented or used in a manner that is consistent with our values and mission - conservation and education.