Planckendael Zoo feeds “surplus” animals to the lions

Planckendael Zoo feeds “surplus” animals to the lions

GAIA informs
10 May 2015

On April 17th, we learned that the Planckendael zoo, one of Belgium’s largest zoos, had killed three young, healthy animals (an oryx and two bison) and used them as food for the zoo’s resident carnivores. Planckendael called it “euthanasia.”

Informed of the facts by a Planckendael employee, GAIA passed on the story to Het Laatste Nieuws, the most widely-read newspaper in Flanders. The story raised popular outcry, and Michel Vandenbosch himself gave numerous interviews and explained the facts in news programmes, both in Flanders and Wallonia. GAIA considers this practice unacceptable and demands that the zoo’s owner, the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp (KMDA), reviews its policy. For example, the Scimitar Oryx, now extinct in the wild, exists only in captivity, where it survives thanks to breeding programmes. Despite this, Planckendael killed a healthy young male oryx, along with the two bison. These three animals, barely a year old, were cut up and thrown to carnivores.

Michel Vandenbosch protests: "Planckendael has become a slaughterhouse. Young animals are cute and attract the public, but as soon as they’re grown up, they become unprofitable and undesirable. Why? Because they are not needed for the breeding programme." The KMDA acknowledges the standard practice of slaughter of “surplus” animals – that is, animals not required for breeding or which are not taken by other zoos.

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