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An elephant walks through the Denver
Zoo’s Toyota Elephant Passage on May 12, 2012. (Kathryn Scott Osler, Denver Post file)" border="0"/>
An elephant walks through the Denver Zoo's Toyota Elephant Passage on May 12, 2012. (Kathryn Scott Osler, Denver Post file)

You'd think bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Agriculture would have better things to do than pressure the Denver Zoo into changing the type of water it gives to animals in its Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit.

Recycled water, which a zoo spokeswoman said meets federal standards for human consumption in the 1980s, is out. Potable water is in. And the elephants, tapirs, leopards and rhinos are feeling so much more refreshed. Not really.

The switch was not triggered by alarming reports, since zoo staff insist there is zero evidence the recycled water has undermined any animal's health.

What, pray tell, do USDA officials imagine is the quality of water elephants drink in the wild?

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