Dear Ms Nunn
Thank you for your letter dated 13 March 2017. It is always gratifying for our institution to receive letters from the public.
Unfortunately, I must decline your request to be sent a pet. Our zoological society exists primarily to enhance important conservation work and to educate the public about understanding and respect towards animals. Sending an elephant to you, even in a crate, would seriously undermine the importance we place on ensuring an appropriate habitat for our animals. Besides which, I rather suspect you would find him “too big”. Elephants need a vast space to live their lives; we are unsure that your house in Buckinghamshire would provide adequate roaming territory for these magnificent creatures.
Equally, we cannot send you a lion. These are “too fierce” to keep domestically. There have been several cases of experienced keepers being mauled by lions. I fail to see how your experience owning a Maine Coon cat, large as he may be, properly qualifies you to look after a panthera leo.
I note your ceiling height of 3m is well above the average, and I congratulate you on having a spacious home. However, a fully-grown male adult giraffe (please do note that every single animal in our zoo is male, which to be honest is really playing havoc with our breeding programme) can grow to 6m. I rather suspect our giraffes would be “too tall”.
I would also encourage you to consider the logistics of zoological societies providing animals to potential owners, even if the health and safety and conservation risks were addressed. I am sure many a customer would find our camels to be “too grumpy”, our frogs “too jumpy”, our snakes “too scary” and our monkeys “too naughty”. Even with this taken into account, our return postage costs would be unsustainable. We would likely find most customers would take advantage of a no-quibble guarantee to send their animals back, once the daily reality of meeting the needs of an adult male lion become apparent. Do you know how much the Royal Mail charges for two-way postage for a 6 ton elephant? A lot, that’s how much. And a fair few of them would likely get lost in transit.
May I suggest you get yourself a puppy? For some never-explained reason, our zoo has puppies too. You are welcome to come and visit them, but we can’t send you one because we are a zoo, not an animal lending library. Alternatively, you may wish to consider adopting an adult dog from an animal shelter, which many consider to be a more responsible way to find your canine companion.