CAIRO: A photo of an African baboon, whose feet were cannibalized by fellow cage mates in a zoo in Delta’s Sharqia governorate has gone viral on Egyptian social media.
“Due to extreme hunger, some animals starved to death, and others have eaten each others,” social media user Miss Assnaa posted on Save an Innocent Animal Soul Facebook page Tuesday.
A group of baboons turned on one of their cage-mates, she reported an eye-witness.
The eye-witness accused the zoo employees of waiting to feel animals until visitors offered money, and said that there was no medical care or cleaning in the zoo.
Zakazik Zoo director Ayman Lotfi denied such social media reports, adding that the 17-year-old baboon was injured after he went on the rampage because his pregnant wife abandoned him for his newly born baboon.
Lotfi continued in remarks to Youm7 that the zoo decided to isolate the baboon, the father, to protect the baby, adding that the baboon suffered inflammation of the lymph glands.
Egyptian zoos have been plagued by problems since the January 2011 revolution, although the Giza zoo lost its certification from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2004 over animal welfare issues.
The agricultural ministry announced in January that it has in place a plan to regain WAZA certification; the plan of the development of the zoo relies on reducing the accumulation of animals in the park and improving their health conditions and food according to international standards approved by WAZA.