It took 38 city workers to buy a banana for the Pittsburgh Zoo before privatization. There has been a free market experiment going on with regard to America's Zoos, and the results are amazing and unchallengeable. A public facility like a Zoo delivers better quality enjoyment for both the visitors, the animals and the taxpayers when it is taken out of the hands of the local Government. It’s a Jungle Out There! What We Can Learn from the Privatization of Zoos | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty I've now personally seen the miraculous transition of a local zoo from City to Private Management twice. The most dramatic was San Francisco Zoo. An old place built in 1929, it resembled a penitentiary. After privatization circa 1998, you could see immediate improvements --- especially in education value and the well-being of the animals. STILL not one of better zoos in the country -- but MUCH improved. The economics of zoo privatizations is really no longer debateable. This form of management is much more efficient, consistent, and motivated to ask the public for support. Association of Zoos and Aquariums Reason Foundation - Privately Operated Zoos Now Considered the Standard The same model would apply to Museums, WaterParks and a host of things that Govt isn't very good at. And to large extent, we have sufficient experience now in those ventures as well. So next time your local govt threatens to cut "basic services" -- Ask them why they are still buying bananas for the apes..