Zoos

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1994:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
announced December 20 that it has indefi-
nitely ended consideration of requests to
import giant pandas. The verdict came six
months after Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt
vetoed the San Diego Zoo’s attempt to import
two pandas in exchange for a grant of $1 mil-
lion to loosely monitored “panda conservation”
projects in China, which in the past have
included such activities as building a hydro-
electric dam.

Under orders from Agriculture
Canada, the Parc Safari Zoo at Heming-
ford, Quebec, slaughtered another 447 ani-
malson December 10, bringing the toll to 663
since lesions symptomatic of bovine tubercu-
losis were discovered in an eland in May 1993.
Only 168 animals remain at the zoo, all of
them members of species considered threat-
ened or endangered in the wild, including
lions, tigers, elephants, black and brown
bears, chimpanzees, Arctic wolves, addaxes,
Japanese macaques, an extremely rare white
rhinoceros, and a stud giraffe named Big
Daddy who has sired about 80% of all the
giraffes in North America. Parc Safari is now
under quarantine, meaning no more animals
can be brought in until all those now there are
dead. At deadline, the Parc Safari owners
were seeking an order from Agriculture
Canada to slaughter the rest of the animals, so
that they could rebuild the exhibits before the
tourist season begins in mid-May––and hoping
to get it before January 1, after which federal
compensation for each animal slaughtered will
be limited to $2,000, a fraction of the pur-
chase price of many of the scarcer species.
The World Society for the
Protection of Animals is continuing relief
efforts on behalf of the Yerevan Zoo in
Armenia and the Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia
through the winter. More than half the
menagerie at each zoo starved before WSPA
became involved, as poorly staff appropriated
funds and food to themselves. Georgian presi-
dent Eduard Shevardnadze has formed a par-
liamentary commission to review the situation.
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