By Annette Chrysostomou
THE final destination of three exotic animals leaving Cyprus by plane on Tuesday is a national park in the Netherlands.
One of the three cargo passengers is Christos, a little monkey aged 15 years, whose owner has recently died. The other two are racoons. Billy is around three years old and is leaving Cyprus because his owner wants a better life for him. An unidentified six-month old male racoon who was found wandering near Ypsonas is the third passenger.
The transfer from Paphos to Amsterdam has been arranged by the Animal Responsibility Cyprus (ARC) in cooperation with Animal Party Cyprus together with the World Organisation Alliance of Animals and People (AAP).
“We have repeated many times: exotic animals cannot be converted into pets. The purchase and importation of these animals continues to inflict suffering on the animals; climatic conditions in Cyprus are far from those of their natural environment,” yesterday’s announcement by the ARC and the Animal Party stressed.
It added, “moreover, captive living conditions do not meet their behavioural and biological needs, not to mention serious risks to the health of people who either intentionally or unintentionally may come into contact with them.”
Calling on the public to avoid buying such animals, they also commented that apart from the suffering experienced by the animals and the health risks there is a danger of injury to unsuspecting citizens when exotic animals wander around freely.