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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report
(NZP, NAS Action Plan Performance, July 2004). The zoo has many failing facilities, and completing less than 50% of maintenance orders monthly is unacceptable. That will inevitably lead to the failure of more facilities and to unsafe conditions for the animals, staff, and visitors. It also provides a pointed example of the importance of human-resources planning to avoid situations in which a lack of staff jeopardizes the functioning of an organization. One performance measure, completion of diet reviews, raises a special concern in the committee. The zoo has attained its monthly goal through July, but the acting clinical nutritionist is resigning effective September 30, 2004. As of the end of July, 31% of the diets still need to be reviewed and entered into the database. Given the resignation of the clinical nutritionist, and the length of time that it typically takes the Smithsonian to hire a replacement, it seems unlikely that the zoo will attain the goal of completing the diet reviews by the end of 2004. However, as the research nutritionist and clinical nutritionist have been collaborating on the review of diets for the animal collection, work on the review and entry of the diets into the database could be continued by the research nutritionist during the interim, so that the momentum gained over the last year in this arena is not lost.