At least 50 animals have died in the last six months at the Caricuao zoo in Caracas, Venezuela, due to widespread food shortages that are affecting both man and beast in the socialist nation.
Marlene Sifontes, a union leader for employees of state parks agency Inparques which oversees zoos, told Reuters that the zoo lost Vietnamese pigs, tapirs, rabbits and birds after the animals went weeks without eating. Others animals at the zoo are in danger of severe malnutrition. Lions and tigers, which should be on a carnivorous diet, are being fed mango and pumpkin just to get something in their empty stomachs, while an elephant is being fed tropical fruit instead of its usual diet of hay, the union leader said. According to one report, the big cats are being fed slaughtered thoroughbred racehorses from a nearby race track.
It is important to keep zoo animals alive, because Venezuelans don’t know when they will be reduced to eating them.
At least carrion birds are eating well. Normally they wait until their meal is dead and decomposing, but this starving bison is close enough:
Otros animales sufren por el hambre en el zoo de Caricuao. Este bisonte está tan débil que es picado por zamuros pic.twitter.com/Gpmmjvb3nL
— FranciscoUrreiztieta (@FUrreiztieta) July 11, 2016
Translation: “Other animals suffer from hunger at Caricuao Zoo. This bison is so weak that it is bitten by vultures.”
On the positive side, the bison has the satisfaction of dying in the great cause of imposing economic equality.
On a tip from Dan F.