Tuesday, 05. May 2015
01. 08. 14. - 16:00
A stationary factory founded by a famous inventor whose patents included fountain pens and the world's first mechanical pencil has come under fire after managers decided to try and boost income – by opening a zoo.
The bizarre decision by managers at the Croatian stock exchange listed TOZ Penkala stationery factory that still makes pens and pencils comes after directors started looking around for ways to make more money.
And they decided that with excess storage space, it would be the perfect place to keep animals and sell tickets for people to come and look at them.
TOZ Penkala was started by inventor Slavoljub Eduard Penkala who had more than 80 patents registered to his name when he finally died in 1871, including not just pens and pencils, but also a hot water bottle, a blue dye, a break for railway carriages and an anode battery. He also founded the Elevator Chemical Manufacturing Company, which produced various chemicals such as detergents, sealing wax, and "Radium Vinovica", a medicine–like product that was billed as curing rheumatism.
Penkala died in the Croatian capital Zagreb at the age of 50, after catching pneumonia on a business trip, but his pen making factory continued to run. Now the directors have already put in a bid for a giraffe which they want to be the first animal, apparently believing that the fact a giraffe was put to sleep in Holland indicates that there is probably a surplus of giraffe's. They hope to have the giraffe in place by the end of the year.
The move has been blasted by animal rights activists, who say companies making pens and pencils should stick to what they know and not get involved in opening zoos in spare warehouses.
Local animal rights activist Marinko Ivankovic said: "I think it's one of the most crazy things I've heard of. These guys sit around discussing what they can do with their extra space and the best they can come up with is to open a zoo? I think a better idea would be to file the lot of them, and put the animals in charge. They couldn't do a worse job."
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