People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the stunt-happy animal-rights group, has finally decided to bring about change from the inside. This week, PETA’s Captive Animals & Entertainment Issues Department Director Debbie Leahy applied for Lucy Spelman’s tarnished position as director of the National Zoo. According to Leahy, if appointed, she would turn the zoo into a sanctuary for rescued wildlife, dispatch the elephants to a sanctuary in a warmer climate, and send the pandas back to China. But Leahy, who says her qualifications include visits to numerous zoos, is unsure if her application will receive due consideration. “It would be an extraordinarily progressive move, and I don’t know whether the zoo community is ready for that move or not,” she says. Linda St. Thomas, spokesperson for the Smithsonian committee that will decide Spelman’s successor, refuses to discuss any of the applicants, but allows that Leahy’s proposal is “a different kind of application.” —Bidisha Banerjee