Cyprus Mail

Animal welfare groups demand closure of Limassol zoo, large protest planned

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File Photo: Limassol Zoo

The animal party is mobilising with other groups to form a human chain around Limassol zoo on Sunday to protest against its continued existence following a series of scandals related to animal deaths at the facility.

Animal activists will demand the closure of the zoo during the demonstration at 2pm while they called on the district’s mayor to attend to receive their written resolution.

“They’ve left us no other choice,” the party said in its announcement. It added that together with other 13 animal welfare parties in Europe will address the president of the Intergroup for animal welfare Anja Hazekamp to denounce the issue of the illegality and operation of zoos in Cyprus.

The Green Party will also participate in the protest to demand the closure of all zoos in the government-controlled areas.

Their statement came after a deer died at the zoo last week.

The deer’s antlers were caught in a metal mesh that was around the tree, which should not have been there, according to the animal party. This resulted to the animal’s “slow and agonising death” which shows the “unacceptable negligence and irresponsibility of people in charge,” the party added.

The recent tragic death leaves the zoo and the municipality which manages the zoo exposed, the announcement noted. Following the incident, Limassol municipality ordered an investigation into the cause of the deer’s death.

In their announcement, the party also reminded of the recent death of Berton the Savvanah cat which was taken to Limassol and then Paphos zoo but also incidents of animals that were found in a garbage dump in Vati.

Berton was handed over to the state’s veterinary services on May 13 by his owner after the animal had attacked a three-year-old boy when it when it escaped its owner’s supervision.

The cat was taken to Limassol zoo where its condition deteriorated. However, it was later reported that the cat had undergone a surgery for a bowel obstruction. After the surgery, on August 1, authorities transferred Berton to Paphos zoo, saying there was a trained person to look after him. However the cat was later found dead.

Zoos have no longer any educational significance nor are they entertainment for children, the animal party said, to explain that there is no reason for such facilities to continue to operate.

“The animals are the only innocent ones who are caged without having committed a crime,” they added.

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