“Animals are not immortal,” was the “smart” comment made by Cristel Perez Arevalo, director of Yumká Ecological Park in Tabasco, recognizing that in three years, 114 animals have died and that 70% of the population of the zoo are long-living species.
The official appeared before the members of the Local Congress after more than two months of meetings and demands by the different parliamentary factions, who requested her presence to explain the constant death of animals in Yumká.
After the meeting with legislators, Pérez Arévalo acknowledged that a total of 114 animals have died from 2013 to 2015 in the zoo, but she denied that these deaths are due to negligence. She said several factors are involved in this situation, such as predators, age and diseases, claiming that this amount represents 15% of the total population which currently stands at 819 animals.
While she says that animals “are not immortal”, the albino tigress known as “Shakira” died on May 31, after agonizing for several days. According to veterinarians from the Yumká Zoo, the animal passed away after not being properly fed for an eight-day period.
Veterinarians from the zoo had to perform an emergency surgery to “Shakira”. The decision was taken by the team of specialists who noted her delicate health, and were permanently monitoring the tigress in her last days.
Other animals in the zoo are also very sick, and private veterinarians have offered their help, but the Yumká Zoo refuses to accept it.
Dozens of citizens and civil society organizations are demanding a full investigation into what is happening in the zoo.
For their part, Animanaturalis urged citizens across the country to support the demand against the authorities of the Yumká and Profepa.
Through a facebook page “Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation” and “Juntos por Yumká” mourned the death of the animal. The following quote was directly taken from the Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation’s page:
“When we think that money is more important than life we are doomed. When we think that a powerful position is more important than life we are doomed. When we defend our ego instead of accepting help we are doomed. What was Shakira’s fault? Being a beautiful being in a messed up world. How can 200 Animals die in a zoo and just call it normal? Heads have to roll, starting with the @yumka_anp zoo’s director Cristel Perez Arevalo. Look at this poor Angel agonizing, full of scabies, so helpless, so pure. The mighty Tigress, Queen of the jungle, reduced to a simple object. I moan for what has happened to my Planet, including obviously, our fellow inhabitants…”
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