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Mitchell Park Zoo addresses concerns
​An investigation by animal rights organisations has dismissed
allegations by a resident that animals at the Mitchell Park Zoo
are neglected. The country’s oldest tortoise, Admiral who
recently celebrated his 109 years birthday is one of the animals
looked after at the zoo.
AN INVESTIGATION by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) found that no animals needed urgent veterinary care at Mitchell Park Zoo but raised minor areas that need attention.

The society found that all animals have sufficient food, shelter and water that is changed daily. “As with any facility, maintenance of the zoo is an on-going project and both the SPCA and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife have conducted inspections of the zoo. We found that only minor areas needed to be
improved. Investigations by zoo management are on-going in conjunction with human resources and actions have already been taken,” said Sibusiso Mkhwanazi, Deputy Head of the Parks, Leisure and Cemeteries Department.

The investigation came after a resident said the facility was in bad state, accusing it of animal negligence. Mkhwanazi said plans are afoot to make improvements as recommended by the SPCA and that a vet nurse is currently conducting full health assessments on the zoo. Addressing concerns about some animals being kept in confinement, Mkhwanazi said the zoo was in the processing of obtaining a mate for other animals such as the Umbrella Cockatoo, however he said socialisation was not possible for the mangoose due to its age.

The zoo is also in a process of installing sign boards and interpretative signage to educate the public about the care that animals require. “We always welcome feedback from members of the public on all our facilities and we are happy to discuss any concerns,” he said.

siphelele.buthelezi@durban.gov.za
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