Monterrey, Mexico ( Associated Press) — Authorities on Thursday evicted a second group of big cats and monkeys from a shelter southwest of the Mexican capital that police had secured following complaints from activists of alleged animal abuse.
Three lions and a tiger were taken from a refuge called the Black Jaguar-White Tiger, which operates in the San Miguel Ajusco neighborhood, and were transferred to the capital’s Chapultepec Zoo for medical attention, the federal security attorney’s office said in its report. Announced account on Twitter. For the environment (Profepa).
In addition to the four big cats, ten monkeys were also relocated, informed Ernesto Zazueta, president of the Association of Zoos, Breeders, and Aquariums of Mexico AC (Azcaram), who was one of the condemners of the case.
The first group of four big cats and several monkeys were removed from the shelter on Wednesday and also taken to the capital’s Chapultepec Zoo.
Zazueta told The Associated Press that the eight big cats were first evacuated because their health conditions were critical. “The priority ones, the most serious, are being taken out of the zoo because of their condition,” he said.
Officials did not provide details on the condition of the 202 animals found at the refuge, of which 177 are big cats, 17 spider monkeys, four dogs, two donkeys and two coyotes, but activists have condemned the samples as too vulnerable. Dehydrated and with injuries on the body.
Zazueta indicated that all the animals would be progressively removed from the shelter to be relocated to various zoos in the country.
Eduardo Cerio, president and director of the Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation, denied allegations of animal abuse in some videos posted to the organization’s Instagram account on Thursday, saying the images were released to starve large numbers of people. Cats have been taken “completely out of context,” adding that “we are treating them. Obviously there are some animals that are thinner than others.”
Serio said the foundation was facing financial difficulties as donations dropped by 70% during the coronavirus pandemic.
The manager specified that some of the animals in the shelter had come from the circus, and questioned Azkaram’s performance in the matter.
In Mexico, performing with animals in circuses has been banned since 2015.
Zazueta rejected Serio’s allegations, saying that many of the animals found at the shelter are young and come from seizures by authorities and alleged purchases made by the foundation’s president.
The capital’s civil defense secretary, Omar García Harfuch, said on Tuesday that the decision to secure the Ajusco property was made “for the offense of improper use of land and animal abuse”.
Officials said the land on which the animals were found is “for agricultural and livestock use, and not for keeping the kind of species that would be suitable for a zoo.”
Under Mexican law, individuals can register to keep exotic animals in supervised wildlife management units. The shelter raided on Tuesday had apparently submitted the necessary paperwork.