EAST Londoners are reeling at the state of the city’s zoo with a petition calling for its closure.The Daily Dispatch reported (Charges against zoo curator dropped, January 17) that the charges laid by the NSPCA against zoo curator, Alex Roux, had been dropped.Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) welcomed the move with spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya saying they had reiterated that the threats and subsequent laying of charges was a publicity stunt.
“It is important to note that as a city we had acknowledged the challenges that the zoo has faced and had devised a clear programme of action to rectify these. And we have. We have been working openly and honestly with every organisation that comes in good faith to solve some of these.” Wildlife Protection Unit Manager of NSPCA, Martie Rossouw, said the responsibility of the zoo fell on the owner, including BCM or the curator.
“The NSPCA’s objective is to ensure that the animals in their care are kept under the correct husbandry conditions and with the highest welfare standards.“The NSPCA is and will remain opposed to captive welfare facilities. We have received various complaints about the conditions under which the animals are kept, hence our continued inspections at the zoo.“The evidence in the current case clearly highlights our concerns. We will continue to fight for justice for these animals, and we will continue to inspect the zoo and the matter will be elevated to provincial or national prosecuting authorities if need be.”
A concerned local, who wanted to remain anonymous, confirmed that she has started a petition to close down the zoo, with more than 5000 signatures already collected. http://chn.ge/2DEojzt
Recent visitor, Rio Ashington, said the conditions were shocking. “There is litter, the cages are filthy and the animals look depressed. The animals that are alone look miserable. As for the state of the snake exhibit – there was faeces smeared all over the floor and the windows in the snakes cages were filthy.”She said the bears looked skinny and scruffy.