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SAFE says Baboon deaths at Wellington Zoo were irresponsible

The Four baboons who were euthanised at Wellington Zoo today again highlights the inherent cruelty of animal captivity for entertainment, according to SAFE.

Habib, 14, Osiris, 7, Les, 17, and Rafiki, 15 were all put to death today, due to what Wellington Zoo calls was a breakdown in their social structure, which led to serious fighting amongst the animals.

SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says killing the animals was irresponsible and she questions the ability of Wellington Zoo to house their animals.

“Clearly the behavioural and habitat needs of the baboons were not being met at the Zoo, which goes to show the flaws of keeping animals in captivity,” says Ms Ashton.

“Social structures suffer in enclosed environments and could be attributed to fighting and anxiety for animals. When these social systems break down and there is fighting, vulnerable animals are not in a position to be able to escape as they would in the wild,”

“My understanding is that the Zoo was making room for other animals to be brought in this year, so it is not clear why they couldn’t have been separated.”

Zoos around the world have been increasingly criticised for their treatment of animals and the living arrangements that they can provide, which are often inadequate.

“Wellington Zoo is responsible for the animals to live out their natural lives. Killing them should not have been an option,” adds Ms Ashton.

“We believe all Zoos in New Zealand need to be phased out, by directing their resources and assets to support animals to the wild.



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