When the Buenos Aires Zoo shut its doors in 2016, the majority of the city's residents said "good riddance." The zoo had been widely panned by both the public at large and city officials for being cruel and "degrading" to the animals it held in captivity. The zoo, located in a busy intersection, caused the animals undue stress and housed them in less than par enclosures.So when the mayor announced that he would close the park and turn it into an EcoPark there were signs of hope.
The EcoPark would hold fewer animals with better enclosures and care, as well as serve as a refuge for rescued animals.
But these grandiose dreams have all but disappeared. The new EcoPark has a dismal record and animal activists now wonder if anything has changed at all.
Last month, two of the parks iconic animals succumbed to tragically avoidable deaths. 18-year-old Jackie the giraffe had colic and a perforated ulcer. Ruth, a rare white rhino, died of a plethora of infections. Unfortunately, their deaths aren't unusual. Since the zoo closed two years ago, more than a hundred have died, and more than 20 have escaped.
Animal activists, including the zoo's former director, thinks animals continue to die because of gross negligence.
The promise of an Ecopark where animals can live better and freer seems to be one that Buenos Aires has yet to keep. And if that's the case the entire enterprise should be shut down and the animals should go to a real sanctuary where they will have the best life possible. Please sign the petition and tell Buenos Aires mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta that it's time to shut down this animal house of horrors. Tell him to close EcoPark.
Photo credit: Leonora Enking / Flickr