Close To One Hundred Protestors Gather After Shocking Stoning Of Crocodile To Death At Tunisian Zoo

Protesters gathered this week in front of the disgraced Belvedere Zoo in Tunis where a crocodile was recently brutally stoned to death by an unruly group of visitors.

Calling out the perpetrators for their “savage behavior”, the municipality shared the tragic news on its Facebook page.

The Facebook post, which included horrific photos of the aftermath in which the bloodied body of the dead animal lay next to huge rocks and concrete, explained that “A group of visitors to the zoo threw stones at the head of a crocodile, causing internal hemorrhage that killed it.”

“It’s terrible. You cannot imagine what animals endure from some visitors,” said Amor Ennaifer, a vet at the zoo told the AFP News Agency noting that even though there are signs and guards, it is not enough to protect the animals from the citizens who are also known to throw stones at lions and hippos, among other atrocious acts. “There are more than 150 species in the zoo. We can’t put a guard in front of each cage. People need to be aware of the need to respect animals.”

Forced to respond by the widespread media coverage that ensued, the Environment Ministry announced that the zoo would be closed for an extended period, beginning March 6, for “emergency cleaning and maintenance work and to set up measures to manage visitors from entering and exiting.”

According to Al-Monitor, this would include deploying a new police force of three officers; which did not sit well with many of the people at the March 5 protest.

The newspaper, which sent a crew to visit the zoo on March 5, also reported that guards were not aware that the park would be closing and changes were to be made. Pointing out that despite the close to 100 protesters outside of the entrance, “it was business as usual inside.”

While some argue that due to its current political and economic standing, Tunisia does not have the resources to invest in animal welfare, more disagree.

“We are responsible for animals like they are our children,” proclaimed Nowel Lakech, President of the Association for the Protection of Animals in Tunisia (PAT), during the protest.

Source: Daily Mail, Al-Monitor

Photo Credits: The Straits Times, France 24 Observers, Daily Mail

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