A video has recently surfaced on Facebook that showcases the conditions that animals are being kept in at the Mtaħleb Wildlife Park in Rabat. It includes footage of bears, tigers, monkeys and many other animals held in what many are calling sub-standard conditions.
The video was posted by a Latvian page called Zootehnikums, a non-profit organisation dedicated to educating the public on animal conversation. Zootechnics is the art of managing domestic or captive animals, including handling, breeding, and keeping.
However, despite what it sounds like, Zootehnikums is very strongly against keeping animals inside ‘traditional’ zoos
Two grizzly bears can be seen pacing inside a tiny concrete enclosure, with only a rope, a tyre swing and a tiny pond to keep them distracted. Other animals, including tigers and lynx cats, are pictured in their cages and enclosures. They are visibly low-energy and seem to be confined to small corners, with their sights set on the visible outdoors. Monkeys and birds have been placed in even smaller cages and kept indoors.
The Rabat zoo had made headlines in the past after falling victim to a fire
The fire saw the death of two leopards and several monkeys, and the zoo reopened early last year. Since then, several new animals have been added to the zoo, including lions, panthers and an array of birds.
This latest video made the rounds on Facebook, attracting the anger of many viewers who couldn’t stand to see the animals in such closed spaces.
“My anger is not really with the owners,” one person commented. “All you need to do is look at the page to see the joy on the owner’s face, but rather with the incompetent authorities which permitted this travesty in the first place.”
When asked for a reaction to the video, the owners of the Wildlife Park had this to say
“We will let the authorities comment. We have always followed the legislation. If we have something to hide, we will not be open for public.”
Yesterday, the park’s owner shared a post on Facebook to further explain the situation.
“My life, my zoo, our animals, are like our children”
“We only take advises (sic) from professionals and we always follow the rules which are there for the welfare of the animals,” the post continued. “We don’t enter anybody’s life, and we expect the same on us. If you don’t like, don’t support.”
“One thing is for sure,” the post elaborated. “Our animals are all happy and healthy. None of you showed up to return any of our tiger cubs back to the wild as you always say. I have pleaded many times and invited you many times. You never showed up?”