SANTIAGO ( Associated Press) — Hundreds of protests have taken place around the Palacio de la Moneda, the seat of government in Chile, but what happened Friday was unprecedented: The owners of a zoo kept a few meters away. On one of its doors is a dead lion, whose death they blame on a government agency that forced it to be sedated.
A banner was hoisted towards 14-year-old Zeus that read: “The government kills animals. No more pituto (casual jobs) in SAG in terms of Agriculture and Livestock Service responsible for the development of agriculture and livestock in the country.
Cesar Chanampa Armijo, owner of the Los Angeles Zoo, 530 km south of the Chilean capital, assured the press that Zeus died a day after SAG forced him to anesthetize him to read the animal’s identification microchip.
“SAG forced us to anesthetize and capture all of our animals for chip reading. We told SAG through medical certificates that there is a risk of anesthetizing animals just like humans… As of tomorrow we have captured six animals managed to render unconscious and one died.”
In a statement, SAG said that sedation of animals is a common procedure in order to develop a safe review process. “We want to emphasize that this procedure was performed by the zoo’s own team, as established in protocol.” Zeus died during sedation.
The state body criticized that Zeus was exposed because it “attacks the dignity of animals” and that it would study possible legal actions against the zoo.
Police covered the animal with a blanket and blocked vehicular traffic through an artery passing next to the government headquarters. Later Zeus was removed from that place.