Gina and Jenny, the brown bears of the East London Zoo, are looking much better, according to Lionel de Lange, CEO of Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation Ukraine, who visited the EL Zoo earlier this year to assess their condition.
In the past images of the bears have drawn widespread condemnation from the public, even spawning a petition, which drew over 25000 signatures, to close the zoo down.
In a recent post on the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation Ukraine Facebook page, De Lange wrote: “There were some photos online that caused a huge outcry regarding the condition of the animals at the East London Zoo in South Africa, in particular the bears, and many of my supporters asked why I was not doing anything about it.
“Anyway, I travelled to SA in Feb 2018 and visited the zoo and met with management. There were a few issues but I’ll concentrate on the bears. The photos did not look good at all and the bears were moulting but also they seemed to be very scrawny and small.
“Their diet was definitely not adequate and after consulting with staff members, who were very keen to help, I suggested some changes and we increased their diet intake and also the variety, as you can see in the photos.
“You be the judge and tell if they do not look better now.
“Unfortunately, the rest of the project has stalled and we are still waiting on various quotes to build new or to adapt their existing enclosure.”
Questions sent to BCM were unanswered by the time of going to print.