Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Animals Rescued from the Puerto Rico Zoo After it is Shut Down
Thanks to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the conditions of zoo animals and sea life in aquariums is inspected and reported to the US Department of Agriculture. What if the Association of Zoos and Aquariums shuts down a zoo? That happened recently in the case of the Puerto Rico Zoo. The closure should have occurred years ago, as this story makes clear:
Puerto Rico’s government is closing the U.S. territory’s only zoo following years of suspected negligence, a lack of resources and deaths of animals that were highlighted by activists.
By DÁNICA COTO Associated Press. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico is closing the U.S. territory’s only zoo following years of suspected negligence, a lack of resources and deaths of animals that were highlighted by activists.
Puerto Rico’s government announced the permanent closure of the 45-acre zoo Monday as federal authorities investigate allegations of mistreatment of animals. “Animal welfare comes first,” Gov. Pedro Pierluisi told reporters. “Questions have been raised for a long time.”
Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney Stephen Muldrow announced that experts from The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado would inspect and evaluate the animals, saying that “the safe and humane care for all zoo animals is a top priority of the Justice Department.”
Previously, a government-appointed committee had raised concerns about two pumas that died, an underweight chimpanzee and a rhinoceros named Felipe that was limping. It also noted that dozens of animals needed vaccines or physical tests, and that a kangaroo and a porcupine were among animals that didn’t have shelter.
This zoo closure was too long in coming. The cruelty that happened to these animals has finally come to an end. We are grateful to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Wildlife Animal Sanctuary and the Denver Zoo and the Department of Agriculture for stepping in to prevent further cruelty. I have seen zoos in the Middle East where there is no inspection and the animals are left in dire conditions. In countries where there is no freedom for citizens to form non-profit associations, no voices of dissent can be raised against injustices. Only in the free world can citizens form voluntary associations such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Wildlife Animal Sanctuary. The Bible says, “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10). We have to keep studying the way of the Lord as it relates to the care of animals, and we have to be more respectful for their welfare.
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