140-year-old zoo closing to give animals a better life

The Buenos Aires zoo is closing its doors after zoo officials felt that “keeping wild animals in captivity and on display is degrading,” according to The Guardian.

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Buenos Aires mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta said the 2,500 animals kept at the zoo would be moved to nature reserves around Argentina, which he hopes will provide a more suitable environment, with the old zoo grounds becoming an educational ecopark later this year, according to The Guardian.

“This situation of captivity is degrading for the animals; it’s not the way to take care of them,” Rodriguez Larreta said during a ceremony last Thursday.

According to The Guardian, the bird species at the zoo will be released into a riverside ecological reserve in Buenos Aires, and many of the older animals, and others too challenging to move, will stay at the new location. Rodriguez Larreta said the new ecopark “will be a place where children can learn how to take care of and relate with the different species.”

The BBC reports the zoo has been under fire with a recent controversy surrounding the treatment of the zoo’s polar bears having inadequate conditions during the hot summers. According to the site, the last polar bear, Winner, died three-and-a-half years ago during the hot season.

Read more at The Guardian.

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