Animal lovers protest zoo amid conflict over animal welfare stories

Dozens of animal lovers protested against Hai Park in the northern city of Kiryat Motzkin on Thursday over what they say are unacceptable conditions for keeping wild animals.

Animal welfare claims and counterclaims have escalated in the past nine days since political activist Nir David posted a photo on social media of two elephants apparently hanging on the wall of their enclosure to cool off in the shade.

The post went viral, racking up 2,600 comments and 3,900 shares on Thursday, and prompted the launch of a campaign to ‘save’ animals by Hebrew University of Jerusalem maths student Lauren Tobaly, who lives in Tel Aviv. Aviv.

On Friday, park management wrote on Facebook that the elephants had enough shade from trees, from the wall during the morning hours and from a shade net in the center of the exhibit.

The park has invited the public to come see for themselves, allowing free admission all week, until Friday.

In response to the row, representatives from the Agriculture Ministry and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority visited the facility earlier this week. They have launched an investigation and have banned the park from accepting new animals at this time. They said they could not comment further until conclusions were reached.

A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture said that several “enforcement procedures” had been carried out in recent months in the park and that several “deficiencies” had been found, not all of which had been corrected.

כשאדם פרטי מתעלל בחיות, כולם זועקים. פילים מצטופפים בחום, ומשאבת המים מקולקלת. Nir David

Posted by ‎סטטוסים מצייצים‎ on Thursday July 21st, 2022

Yesh Atid MK Yasmin Sacks-Friedman, an animal rights activist, visited the park on Tuesday, later reporting that she found some of the enclosures to be properly maintained while others were well below standard. acceptable.

She said the lack of shade for elephants, giraffes, monkeys and other animals was “the most serious flaw”.

Additionally, she wrote that the water in the Crocodile Pool was full of plastic, corks and empty bottles, and that visitors were feeding the animals unattended in ways that could harm them (a giraffe is died in the park in 2012 after eating food wrappers provided by visitors) and that the sheep and goat enclosure was “stale and dirty”.

As part of its first campaign, the Israeli branch of the Jane Goodall Institute also got involved. The institute was officially launched earlier this month, but co-director Dr. Itai Roffman, an evolutionary anthropologist, told The Times of Israel that he had been receiving information about Kiryat Motzkin Park for several months and had already sent a complaint to IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Roffman, who like Goodall has spent years studying bonobo apes, said Yus, an orangutan who died several years ago at the park from meningitis, could have been vaccinated against the infection and that his death indicated poor sanitary conditions in the enclosure. The remaining orangutans were then transferred to the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem.

He added that one of JGI Israel’s goals was to send endangered species from zoos to ecological sanctuaries and then release them back into the wild as part of reintroduction programs. Orangutans are critically endangered.

Roffman, who has not visited the Kiryat Motzkin facility but has seen photographs and video clips, criticized the lack of proper vegetation in the enclosures and access to nature.

לאחר חשיפת mako: הטיגריסית בחי פארק קריית מוצקין מתה היום > bit.ly/3rtIcRhצילום: י,יזי,יז

Posted by mako on Sunday April 17th, 2022

The zoo made headlines earlier this year when Channel 12 news published a photo of an emaciated female tiger. This prompted the Ministry of Agriculture to send a veterinarian, who anesthetized the animal to carry out a medical check. The tiger, named Sarah, never woke up. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the results of the autopsy were inconclusive as to the cause of death and were sent for a second opinion.

A spokesperson for the Kiryat Motzkin Municipality, speaking on behalf of the park and at its request – the park is an independent, non-profit organization – said the facility was operating according to law and with full transparency.

A Nubian ibex, handicapped from birth at Hai Wildlife Park in Kiryat Motzkin. (Courtesy Ittai Roffman)

He added that the “violent” character of the verbal attacks on the park indicated principled opposition to zoos, with interested parties riding the wave of “a distorted saga” born of “politics and demagoguery”.

An ibex whose photo circulated on social media as an example of abuse was born with disabled front legs, the spokesperson said.

Sarah the tigress was nineteen and a half and died of old age, he argued, while another female tiger with an apparently twisted back, whose photo also circulated, came from a more small paddock in the central city of Rishon Lezion in 2019, and already had a lameness and medical issues at the time.

He pointed out that many young people with special needs work at the park, greatly benefiting from their contact with the animals.

Stressing that the photographs don’t tell the whole story, he provided positive testimony from Gerry Creighton, who spent 36 years as a keeper at Dublin Zoo in Ireland before becoming an elephant care consultant to zoos in January 2021.

הודעה לציבור הרחב! עד יום שישי ה29.7 כל הציבור מוזמן! הכניסה חינם! בואו לראות במו עינכם ט הטיפול המסור, ותנאי החזקה שמקבלות הפילות וכל שאר בעלי Fresh Food on the air -18: 00 29.7 משעה 9: 00-16: 00. בינתיים שמעו את דבריו מהיום ה 24.7 של מומחה הפילים מספר אחד בעולם שביקר בחי פארק לפנ ever

Posted by חי פארק קריית מוצקין‎ on Sunday July 24th, 2022

However, according to the Irish press, Dublin Zoo is also to be formally investigated over allegations of animal abuse and disappearances.

He also provided a link to an article published Thursday in a local newspaper (in Hebrew) by a journalist, Aliza Barkan, who gave the park a boost.

Contrary to Yasmin Sacks-Friedman’s report, Barkan, who says he spent four hours at the park, wrote: “In general the garden was clean, the ponds, including the crocodile pond, were clean and there was a flow of water. ‘fresh water and clean water.’

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