The lesson is clear when a facility deemed unfit for animals is seized by the homeless as an improvement in their condition. Fortunately, this tale does not come from America, where the homeless on the streets of New York, Washington and Baltimore are familiar sights.
No, it is in Milan, fashion and industry capital of Italy, that the old, central-city zoo was closed because cooping the animals in its small cages was considered inhumane. Animal rights groups protested. The zoo was condemned, its animals moved to more spacious zoos.
But then some 100 or so homeless men moved in. They don't relish being stared at as though they were some new species of beast. They just want more ample quarters to spread out under shelter than they have on the streets of Milan. The response of one city councilman to publicity about them was to announce that the zoo structures will be leveled to make way for public gardens.