Ohio Zoo Ends Joint Promotion With Creationist Museum

The Cincinnati Zoo cut ties with a nearby creationist museum in Petersburg, Ky., after scientists and others protested a promotional deal between the two institutions. 

The zoo and the Creation Museum discounted prices to anyone who bought tickets to both the zoo’s Festival of Lights and the museum’s Christmas celebration, called “Bethlehem’s Blessing.”

Immediately after the ticket deal was publicized on both institutions’ Web sites, e-mails and other messages began pouring into the zoo, objecting to the promotion.

Most complained that the zoo, which receives public funding, should not be involved with a private museum that teaches creationism and fundamentalist Christian beliefs. Many argued that the museum’s mission is in direct conflict with the zoo’s scientific mission.

“They seem like diametrically opposed institutions,” Dr. James Leach, a Cincinnati radiologist, wrote in an e-mail to the zoo. “The Cincinnati Zoo is one of this city’s treasures. The Creation Museum is an international laughingstock.”

The promotional deal led to a heated debated between creationists and evolutionists, and after a few days, a zoo boycott had already been set up through e-mail, blogs and Facebook.