An individual who was treated at Mater Dei Hospital after being bitten by an exotic animal was bitten at one of Malta’s zoos, Lovin Malta is informed.
This week, Nationalist MP Mario Galea asked Health Minister Chris Fearne whether it was true that a person had been admitted to Mater Dei Hospital after being bitten by “an exotic animal, such a tiger”.
No further details were given by both Galea and Fearne, including the location where the incident took place. However, Lovin Malta is reliably informed that it happened at Wildlife Park in Mtaħleb and that the injured person was a foreign visitor to the park.
According to Fearne’s reply, the person only suffered minor injuries, though it does raise questions about whether the present lack of regulation is sustainable in the long term.
The park in question is owned by Chris Borg, who recently made the headlines after Animal Rights activist Moira Delia.
Mario Galea has in recent weeks reiterated calls for zoos to be banned, or at least, regulated, arguing that Malta was no place for exotic animals.
Speaking in Parliament last month, Galea took Animal Rights Minister Anton Refalo to task for backtracking on plans to implement new regulations that would have introduced, among other requirements, the need for mandatory neutering, microchipping, an insurance policy, 24-hour CCTV footage as well as the prohibition of the petting of wild animals at zoos.
The regulations were withdrawn following pushback from local zookeepers.
Earlier this month Animal Rights MInister Anton Refalo, responding to another parliamentary question by Galea, revealed that an impact assessment of Maltese zoos had been commissioned.
The assessment is meant to look into the impact of a change in laws on Maltese zoos and will hopefully touch upon concerns about the safety of visitors to such zoos.
Refalo told Parliament that the assessment was in its final stages and would be completed within weeks, though he did not commit to an end date.
Tag someone who needs to read this