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Do you remember Bitola Zoo in Macedonia?

Last month OIPA sent a letter to the Major, but we didn’t received any reply.

In the meanwhile a volunteer with a hidden camera filmed a dog in a cage, crying. It is not clear why the dogs are kept in closed cages in the zoo and neither why they are crying and expressing discomfort.

Following OIPA campaign, the local TV interviewed the owner of the zoo. He said that the zoo has been renewed and that he has the legal licence to keep the animals. What he doesn’t mention is that he’s keeping dogs in very small cages and this is not in accordance with the AFV (Agency for Food and Veterinary) standards for a shelter.

OIPA and the local associations Animalia Ohrid and Anima Mundi keep asking to the Government of Macedonia and to the Bitola Municipality to check over this situation.

We collected 9583 signatures till now, SEND A LETTER OF PROTEST AND HELP US RESCUE THE ANIMALS!



Last month OIPA sent a lettre to the Macedonian Government asking to check over the Bitola zoo situation, since we received a report for animal abuses from a visitor. OIPA hasn’t received any reply yet, therefore we contact today the Bitola Municipality and we asked to the Major to take action and investigate the situation in the Zoo.

Thanks to the support of thousands of people 8341 signatures were collected to close the zoo and we sent it today to the Major fo Bitola. There is an open petition on change.org (https://www.change.org/p/macedonian-government-bitola-macedonia-a-lager-named-zoo-sign-the-petition-to-close-it-asap), one on Care2 (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/it-it/473/552/588/bitola-macedonia-a-lager-named-zoo/) and one on OIPA website (down in this page).

Reading the comments in the petitions we find many Bitola citizens, they confirmed that the zoo is a place unsuitable for animals and that the animals were often abused and mistreaten.

Few cages in the zoo were recently improved, but many others are still small and the animals are kepts in terrible conditions, while many dogs in shelters hide from the public keep crying.

We collected pictures of the zoo last week: they are not old pictures downloaded from the web, unfortunately we can see the actual conditions in which the animals are forced to live day by day.

The owners are still charged of feeding the wildlife species with the rests of their dead similars or with stray dogs, we hope that the Municipality will investigate and find out what is really happening in the zoo.

OIPA doesn’t support any kind of zoo or facility which keeps animals in cages with the only purpose to raise money.


OIPA International discover this awful place after a tourist segnalation: The Bitola Zoo, is a zoo in Bitola, Macedonia, founded on 1st May 1950 with the help of the Skopje’s, Zagreb’s, Belgrade’s and Subotica’s zoos.
The zoo hosts several animal species, local and wildlife ones.
Clearly from the pictures these animals are kept in improper conditions and with no attention for their ethological needs.
In the zoo there are several farm and local animals and also 4 bears, 3 tigers (1 couple and 1 male living alone in his cage), tens of monkeys and two lions.

Here the heartbreaking witness report:

“The lion and tigers where probably not drugged, but they where lifeless… You can actually pet them and they wont even twitch. For me a lion that does that is a miserable lion. A wild animal acting like that, that doesn’t even have the power to rise up to scare me of.
ou can see in their eyes they are so unhappy. Every animal in there look unhappy.
Those poor bears going in circles every single day, in that stinking hole. Where there is nothing green nothing fun for them to play with, just a circle of stone.
The monkeys living in that little cave all together with nothing to play with, and anyway there isn’t place enough for them to do that.
The wolves and foxes, they are so stressed out. You could hear them soob and cry walking fast back and forth like they were having a panic attack.
I’ve seen the people working there feeding the animals with only bread.
It smells like death in that place…”

The owners are accused of feeding alive animals with the dead ones or with stray dogs.

The zoo claim that it plays a significant role in the sphere of social living, especially in the sector of education as well as the protection of certain animal species. We obviously disagree with that, this place must be closed as soon as possible and the animals moved to a sanctuary.
Taking care of animals is a difficult task, even more difficult if we are talking about wildlife species like tigers, lions, bears and monkeys. Those species have complex ethological needs. In their natural habitats they are free to walk and run for long distances, many of them hunt to feed themselves, they have complex social lives and boundaries. Keeping those animals in tiny concrete cages is an incredible and cruel abuse against them.
We do not tolerate anymore those animals mistreatments!
Animals are not objects which can be used to raise money and run a business.

OIPA International and Animalia Ohrid ask to the Macedonian Government to close the Zoo and take strict legal action against the persons responsible of this abuses.



OIPA International



Animalia Ohrid




The appeal is addressed to the Minister of Culture, to the Department of International Cooperation, to the Prime Minister Cabinet, to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Supply and to the Minister of Education and Science.



Hereby to express my deepest indignation for the mistreatment to which the animals in the Bitola Zoo are condemned to live. Bears, lions, tigers, monkeys are wonderful wild animals, and they need to live freely. Confine them in little cages to be shown to clients is an horrific and irresponsible behaviour, that does not consider the importance of this endangered animals’ lives, and of their role in the environment balance. I\'m asking to start searching for a better place where those animals will be able to spend the rest of their life. I’m asking to take strict legal action against the responsibles of the abuses and close the Bitola Zoo. Personally, I will not visit Macedonia, and I will ask all my acquaintances to do the same, until this situation will be solved.

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People who agree with zoos say that they have an educational purpose. Today the new concept of the zoo wants them without bars and with wide spaces for the animals, according it a scientific function in yielding the preservation of endangered species.

It’s wrong to call educational a system where the animals are forced to live in an environment that is not their natural one. Furthermore they can’t relate to each other like in the wild and depend on the man for everything.
The preservation of species in the zoos is just a pathetic trial to mend the devastation of the planet’s natural resources. Animals breed very rarely in captivity because of the stressful and unnatural conditions in which they live. Therefore we can often look at forced and stressful recovering programs, like artificial fecundations, often designated to failure.

If we really want to preserve the endangered species we have to concentrate our forces against the phenomena of poaching. Fundamental is also the recovering and preservation of the environment and its natural resources. The drastic decreasing of the Koalas for examples, is due to the destruction of eucalypti forests, foraging resource of this species.

Even in the best aquarium or zoo the animal is always a convict serving a life sentence, exposed to the eyes of who watches.

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