OIPA International received on the 24th of October 2016 a second report from a visitor of Bitola Zoo. The young woman and her partner were travelling across Macedonia and they visited the zoo, too. This is what they found there:
<<Last summer in June, my partner and I went on holiday to Macedonia, Ohrid. We heard about the Bitola Zoo, and we went to see that place. I would like to speak out my concerns about the animals who stay there. That day it was 29-30 degrees. It was hot weather and we were shocked when we arrived in the Zoo. We saw two rabbits and they had water, but it was darkgreen and filthy! The ducks didn’t had water at all, so I filled my plastic bottle with clean water and gave it to them the water, they immediatly started to drink.
There was one little kangaroo and in his area sat a white rabbit which looked sick. His/her eye was infected and the rabbit didn’t move, it was terrible to see! The little kangaroo didn’t had a place to get shelter against the sun and nothing to play with, there was only one little space with grass. When we went to the apes we saw rusty cages with flies inside, they looked very unhappy and they had nothing to climb in or play with. One little baby monkey looked just like his elders very unhappy. The cage wasn’t clean and it gave us a very depressed atmosphere.
The staff sat there on their terrace, we were too shocked to say anything.>>
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 the animals in very small and unsuitable 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.
On the 23th of September 2016, OIPA received an official letter from the Municipality of Bitola. They said that after OIPA Campaign about presumed abuses in the zoo, they checked the situation in the facility and that the animals are healthy and the zoo respects all the standards of welfare for the animals.
OIPA will keep asking for further investigations over this Zoo. Animals deserve respect and freedom, they do not belong to zoos.
Read the full story here: https://www.oipa.org/international/close-bitola-zoo/
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