Monday, March 20

Follow the succession of deaths at the Vigo zoo: euthanasia for a black panther who “suffered from anorexia”

In the midst of a social earthquake due to the death “in strange conditions” of a dozen animals in the Vigo zoo, those responsible for the municipal enclosure have decided to euthanize a black panther. The City Council itself explained it in a statement late this Friday afternoon: “Her condition worsened in this last stage since the anorexia she suffered from prevented her from taking the prescribed treatment to alleviate the symptoms of the disease. The last tests carried out on him also showed signs of renal failure that further aggravated his deterioration. Consequently, and following the criteria of the center’s veterinarian, they decided to euthanize him. “The purpose was to preserve the well-being of the animal and avoid serious and irremediable suffering,” they maintain from the local government.

The Xunta suspects that part of the animals that died in the Vigo zoo were poisoned


The animal was called Kabul and it was one of the longest-lived animals in the Vigo zoo. Both in age and time spent there. It arrived in May 2006 from a confiscation of endangered species carried out in southern Andalusia. She was 21 years old and, as explained by the consistory, she suffered from a degenerative disease that was making her increasingly impossible.

However, one of the people who has worked more closely with these animals explains some nuances to “Anorexia does not happen by chance and it could have been avoided with adequate treatment and with the provision of more resources in the past . It is a consequence of anxiety and depression.” Although these types of panthers are solitary in nature, they periodically require social contacts with others of their species. Something to which Kabul had no access: “It is true that the enclosure where it is located is extremely reliable for people, but almost torture for an animal like this. A much larger one should have been built, but from above it was decided not to do it”.

The opposition and animal groups demand responsibilities

All the political parties with representation in the local plenary have requested the appearance of the mayor of the city, Abel Caballero, and the councilor of the branch, Nuria Rodríguez, to access an explanation of the events. “We have requested all the autopsies of the animals killed in recent years, but they are putting up obstacles,” says Rubén Pérez, spokesman for Marea de Vigo. “VigoZoo has already gone from an animal jail to a mortuary. And the municipal government of Caballero refuses to give explanations and deliver all the documentation on the brutal trail of animal deaths”, adds Xabier P. Igrexas of the Galician Nationalist Bloc.

In addition, the “sacrifice” has come at a time of unusual social tension in Vigo in what has to do with the municipally owned zoo. The alarms went off ten days ago after leaks to the local press by zoo staff and the support of a large part of civil society from Vigo about a trickle of deaths in “strange conditions” over the last three years. The last of them, that of a lemur that died of cold because it could not bear the night temperatures outside or the death by drowning in its own pit of the last Siberian tiger in the enclosure. In this context, the Natural Heritage services of the Xunta de Galicia attribute to a possible “poisoning by rodenticides” some of the deaths registered in recent months. That is, by an ingestion of rat poison. All these anomalous situations have led several animal groups to file a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office and the Seprona services of the Civil Guard.

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