Cumbrian Safari Zoo Owner Could Face Prosecution for Animal NeglectKeith
Cumbrian Zoo Owner Could Face Being Closed Down for Animal Neglect
Calls for a Cumbrian safari zoo to be closed down after 486 animals die in four years
South Lakes Safari zoo, whose licence is ready for renewal, had a death rate of 12% of its inhabitants between 2013 and 2016.
Inspectors have asked for the owner of the zoo to face prosecution after the revelation that nearly 500 animals in its care had died in under 4 years.
A slating report into conditions at South Lakes Safari zoo in Cumbria, which houses more than 1,500 animals, found that 486 inhabitants had died of causes including emaciation and hypothermia between December 2013 and September 2016.
One African spurred tortoise named Goliath died after being electrocuted by electric fencing, while the decomposing body of a squirrel monkey was discovered hidden behind a radiator. The zoo had a death rate of about 12% of its animals per year.
Inspectors said they had found “significant problems caused by overcrowding, poor hygiene, poor nutrition, lack of suitable animal husbandry and a lack of any sort of developed veterinary care”.
They said the local authority should consider prosecuting the zoo’s founder, David Gill, under the Animal Welfare Act for allowing animals to suffer, adding that the entire blame for the attraction’s problems could be proved to be his.
Last June, the zoo was fined £255,000 for health and safety breaches after the death of zookeeper Sarah McClay, 24, by being attacked by a Sumatran tiger in 2013.