FOUR PAWS disappointed: Zoo fails to protect its visitors and animals
In Santiago, Chile a man climbed the fence of a lion enclosure and provoked an attack from the big cats in an attempt to take his own life. The staff at the zoo took the decision to shoot the lions as tranquilisers would have taken time and resulted in the animals killing the man as they were already attacking him when the decision to shoot was made.
Afterwards the zoo released a statement that included – “Due to the circumstances and to firstly protect the life of this person, we found ourselves obliged to apply all of our security protocols,”
The important question to draw from this, is if the zoo could have done more to ensure it didn’t have to shoot its own lions? Would higher standards of fencing and enclosures protect the animals and the unfortunate individual who tried to commit suicide in entering the big cats’ enclosure?
FOUR PAWS believes that if the zoo had higher standards this incident would not have been possible. The fact that there are hundreds of zoos worldwide with dubious standards of enclosures needs to be addressed to ensure areas with dangerous animals are made safer for the animals, visitors and those who work near the animals. Furthermore, Four Paws calls on Santiago’s Metropolitan Zoo to review the standards of its enclosures and ensure that this incident cannot be repeated.
There is no doubt that many of the world’s zoos have high standards of animal enclosures in terms of security and animal welfare but there is a real division in what is acceptable and what constitutes quality standards. The incident in Chile highlights the need for the highest possible standards to protect the animals and the people who visit the facilities. FOUR PAWS would like to see all countries ensure that their zoos have high standards in security and welfare and ultimately ensure incidents like this cannot happen in the future.