In this Dec. 22, 2014, file photo, Sandra the orangutan sits in her enclosure at BuenosAires' Zoo in Argentina. The mayor of Argentina's capital Horacio Rodriguez Larreta said Thursday, June 23, 2016, that the zoo will be turned into an ecological park and that it will gradually relocate most of its 1,500 animals to sanctuaries in Argentina and abroad because they are not living in adequate conditions.
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
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.
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.