Victory! Puerto Rico’s Government Has Officially Closed The Island’s Last Remaining Zoo

Animal activists are celebrating as Puerto Rico’s government officially announced the closure of the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo following years of complaints. The zoo’s closure is due to the suspected mistreatment of animals and lack of resources. Federal authorities will be investigating the allegations further.

The 45-acre zoo housed over 300 animals, including many endangered species. Now, those animals will be evaluated by veterinarians before heading off to accredited sanctuaries.

The secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), Anaís Rodríguez Vega revealed the zoo’s closure and that they have already begun to look at sanctuaries outside of Puerto Rico to transfer the animals to.

“From the beginning of my administration, I assured that I would work for the best welfare of animals and that is precisely what I do, together with the @DRNAGPR team and federal agencies. I thank @GovPierluisi for making the right decision,” said Rodríguez in a statement on Twitter.

United States Attorney, W. Stephen Muldrow announced the coordination of efforts between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Puerto Rico Department of Environment and Natural Resources, with respect to the health and welfare of the animals housed at the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo and the holding facility, known as the Centro de Detención en Cambalache (collectively the “Zoo”).

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico and the Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division have arranged, with the assistance and collaboration of the Puerto Rico Department of Environment and Natural Resources, for an inspection and evaluation process with respect to the animals at the zoo. The inspection and evaluation will be conducted by a team of veterinarians and specialists from The Wild Animal Sanctuary. The sanctuary operates four wildlife facilities in Colorado and Texas encompassing more than 33,000 acres.

“We greatly appreciate the cooperation of Secretary Anais Rodríguez Vega and her efforts, with respect to the health and welfare of the zoo animals,” United States Attorney Muldrow said in a statement. “Working expeditiously together with Secretary Rodríguez Vega and other Commonwealth officials towards our common goal of ensuring the safe and humane care for all zoo animals is a top priority of the Justice Department.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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