Nearly one year after the 140-year-old Buenos Aires zoo closed, hundreds of animals are shockingly still behind bars, an Associated Pressarticle revealed on Wednesday.
Reportedly, while approximately 360 other animals rescued from trafficking cases have been sent to other institutions, not one of the animals owned by the city has been relocated as of yet.
Presently, as per the Associated Press, “the roars of lions, snorts of rhinos and trumpets of elephants still blend with the cacophony of honking buses and screeching cars passing nearby in one of the most heavily congested areas of Argentina’s capital” as they remain behind bars in limbo.
Last June when the zoo closed Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said, according to the Guardian,“This situation of captivity is degrading for the animals, it’s not the way to take care of them.”
The Mayor further claimed that the animals were a “treasure” that could not remain in captivity near the noise and pollution of the busy city; assuring that the 2500 animals from the 44-acre zoo turned Eco park would be moved to animal sanctuaries or nature reserves in Argentina and abroad.
Next to nothing has been done as of yet.
Time for a new plan!
According to the Associated Press, a new plan was announced by the city but with little details. The vague plan did not indicate how many of the animals would be able to stand a move, or what organizations or sanctuaries would take them. It did, however, mention that a newly-hired conservationist manager was brought on board to observe which animals could endure and survive a move and to arrange the transfers accordingly.
Animal advocates and conservationists are also complaining about the lack of information from the city’s government as to how improvements will be made to the antiquated and inhumane conditions that the remaining animals have been forced to live in.
“We knew that this was going to take time,” Rodriguez Larreta said Tuesday during a Press Conference. “Speeding up the process will just put them at risk, so we’re going to take all the time that’s necessary;” adding that some animals may have to stay in enclosures because of the substantial risk of transferring them.
According to Modernization Minister Andy Freire, many of the animals are expected to co-exist in “controlled zones” instead of cages, and others will be separated by natural barriers such as rocks and moats.
Disturbingly, the plan focuses on long-term goals with little attention being paid to what to do with and for the existing animals.
As per a letter to officials from a coalition of conservationists and veterinarian groups that previously reviewed a draft of the city master plan, the only changes that have been made since the zoo closed include, changing the name of the park, and raising the cost of tickets with nothing done to improve the conditions for the animals held in captivity.
Is it a monumental job? Yes.
Should it take more than a year to improve the conditions for the current animals inhumanely held in captivity? Absolutely not!
Time for another new plan! The sooner the better!
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