Looters Steal Rare Animals From St. Maarten Zoo Destroyed By Hurricane Irma

St. Maarten Zoo

More sad news is being uncovered in the wake of Hurricane Irma as reports surface that rare animals from a now devastated zoo in St. Maarten have died while others fell victim to looters.

A salamander named Big Lizard, one of the zoo’s main attractions was among those that lost their lives. According to the Daily Mail, Big Lizard tragically died of fright as Irma pounded his enclosure last week.

A toucan and a rare rabbit were also reported to have died during the vicious storm; both eaten by one of the zoo’s caimans which is a small yet ferocious type of crocodile.

Dozens of other animals including five boa constrictors and a rare blue macaw were reportedly stolen in the chaotic aftermath of Irma by looters apparently trying to profit from the disaster.

Staff is working tirelessly to rehouse and protect the animals that remain at the site of the zoo which will never open again due to the severity of the damage and its inability to afford insurance.

“What we are trying to do now is keep the animals fed and evacuate them to nearby islands. We are running short of supplies.,” said Melanie Choisy, secretary of the zoo board said in the article. ‘It makes me very sad but we receive no government subsidies. We were on thin strings even before the hurricane.’

St. Maarten Zoo, which was the largest zoological park in the Caribbean, was home to more than 300 animals.

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