The economic recession has meant millions of layoffs in the U.S., and now a band of porcupines, lemurs, deer, bats and antelopes join the ranks of the unemployed.

As reported by Sally Goldenberg of the New York Post, a $15 million budget shortfall at the Bronx Zoo will mean the permanent loss of hundreds of animals. The Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the U.S. and it will now be forced to shut four of its most costly exhibits, including the favorite "Rare Animal Range."

The video above is really cute, but the actual situation is a sad affair. Despite the fact that legislation funding the New York zoos was recently passed, private donations all but disappeared in the last two quarters and Mayor Bloomberg cut the city's contribution by $2 million. 

The animals will be shipped to other zoos and temporary locations while zookeepers search for parks that can afford to care for them.

Right now, the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo and four other parks, is seeking donations on their website to help keep the zoo going.

(MNN homepage photo: sarrobi/iStockphoto) 

Economic recession hits the animal kingdom
The Bronx Zoo hands out hundreds of 'pink slips' to animal employees.