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Animal right activists demand closure of Puerto Rico zoo after deaths

These animals are just languishing there without any veterinary care or safe and wholesome food and proper shelter.

DANICA COTO: ‘Animal rights activists demanded Friday that Puerto Rico permanently close its only zoo and relocate all animals to sanctuaries following reports of deaths and improper care. The California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund and local organizations accused the U.S. territory’s government of violating the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act at a zoo that held more than 300 species last year. “These animals are just languishing there without any veterinary care or safe and wholesome food and proper shelter,” said Cristina Stella, the fund’s attorney, in a phone interview. The 45-acre Dr. Juan A. Rivero zoo has remained closed to the public since Hurricane Irma brushed past Puerto Rico in early September 2017…

A recent letter from a government-appointed committee looking into problems at the zoo located in the western coastal city of Mayaguez highlighted multiple issues. It noted that several animals including two pumas have died, that others including a rhinoceros named Felipe were limping, and that 127 mammals needed physical tests or vaccines, 30 of them urgently. The letter also said that a chimpanzee was underweight and that animals including a kangaroo and a porcupine didn’t have shelter… The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited dozens of violations at the zoo in recent years’. SOURCE…

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