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Monica Post is an education curator at the Blank Park Zoo. Find out how she thinks GE could impact the animal kingdom

Monica Post

Bringing Back Species

GMOs and Zoos

Altering Animals

Transcript for Clip 1 -- Bringing Back Species:

I think if you were...trying to bring a species back, and repopulate a particular area, I think it's a bad idea and I think most of North American accredited zoos would probably agree with that. What's going on is you've got some animals that have become extinct because of natural selection which is a natural process, because of natural habitat changes. We know that the extinction rate has increased because of human intervention. That's a real issue. But trying to bring animals back and repopulate places that they have completely left extinct may be a little bit of a problem. In some cases you've got animals that have come in and filled a niche, and so you will boot out those animals that filled that niche, or you may be causing other competition problems.

Transcript for Clip 2 -- GMOs and Zoos:

When it comes to genetically modified organisms, [genetic engineering goes against the zoos belief of] conserving endangered species. The goal for the zoo business is to create as diverse of a genetic population of animals as possible. Because in order to conserve a species you need to have a very great genetic diversity of those animals. When it comes to genetically modified organisms, it seems to me you're almost doing the opposite. You're almost creating a smaller gene pool. With a smaller gene pool you can be causing more diseases. You've got a smaller gene pool. You've got animals that could be susceptible to some disease and if that were the case, if you have a smaller gene pool, you're going to wipe out a lot more animals. Every animal has weaknesses in their genes, if you are creating a smaller gene pool you are creating more animals with that same weakness.

Transcript for Clip 3 -- Altering Animals:

I think the public would really be very critical of the way zoos approach genetically altered animals at a zoo. I really think we would see a lot of changes in attitudes if we started creating genetically altered animals here in a zoo. Then those people that look at a zoo as an organization that has responsible ethics and as a good source of information, might suddenly change. And they might start looking at a zoo strictly as a place to be entertained and not necessarily as a place to get accurate and correct information. I think we would see a change in the populations of our visitors, people that are more interested in just recreating and not educating and vice versa.

Transcript for Clip 4 -- :