SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Federal authorities said Wednesday they are dropping all investigations into Puerto Rico’s lone zoo where by a variety of species have died, declaring the conclusion arrived right after reaching an arrangement with nearby officials to transfer the animals to sanctuaries on the U.S. mainland.
The announcement angered quite a few activists who have prolonged fought to have the U.S. territory’s govt held liable for the deaths and unwell health of animals reported for much more than a 10 years at the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in the western town of Mayaguez.
“We can’t alter what took place in the previous,” U.S. Attorney Stephen Muldrow reported. “Animals died.”
Having said that, he stressed that likely to courtroom would only hold off the transfer of the zoo’s remaining animals, which amount some 300 and variety from a tarantula to a lone elephant.
“The wellbeing of the animals is the quantity one particular precedence,” Muldrow claimed at a press convention.
He additional that violations at the zoo spanned “many yrs,” with “different administrations not remaining capable to assurance the wellbeing of animals.”
He explained it was an institutional challenge as properly as a deficiency of resources: “There was no intentional problems to the animals.”
But activists say ending the federal investigations usually means impunity prevailed and that no justice will be served for the animals that died or fell sick.
“We had been demanding that the federal federal government do its work: examine violations,” claimed Christian Ríos, an attorney and president of an animal rights commission at Puerto Rico’s Association of Lawyers. “This leaves a bad style in our mouths.”
In the earlier ten years, a governing administration-appointed committee mentioned two pumas died and raised fears about an underweight chimpanzee, a rhinoceros named Felipe that was limping and a lack of shelter for animals which includes a kangaroo and a porcupine.
In January, an American black bear named Nina who had stopped taking in died from a heart assault at more than 20 years old. Black bears can live up to 35 several years in captivity.
In the meantime, officers previous 7 days had to euthanize a puma that was identified with most cancers, Muldrow reported.
He explained just about all the animals will be transferred within just the subsequent 6 months, noting that two eagles had been by now taken off mainly because the zoo was not licensed to treatment for them, and that two owls and two anacondas also have been transferred somewhere else inside of the island.
Previously this thirty day period, Pat Craig, government director of The Wildlife Animal Sanctuary in Colorado and Texas, instructed The Connected Press that the group would get in up to 50% of the zoo’s animals.
Nevertheless, it’s continue to unidentified where specified animals, such as the lone elephant named “Mundi,” would end up. Muldrow explained officers are trying to obtain an elephant sanctuary due to the fact they are a social species and ought to be kept in teams.
The zoo, which opened in 1954, has remained closed considering the fact that hurricanes Irma and Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017.