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Chica

A Year Since Zoo Closure, Hundreds of Animals Remain Caged Inside

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One year after closing down, the 140-year-old Buenos Aires Zoo remains a home for the hundreds of caged animals that were left behind. All of the city-owned animals trapped and their livelihood ignored. The busy streets of Argentina’s capital surrounds the shut-down facility, which opened in 1875, and has now been converted into a park.

Over 1,000 animals were going to be relocated to sanctuaries according to the statements from developers last summer, but the animals continue to live in inhumane conditions a year later. This week, a new plan was released by city officials that centers on the layout and expansion of the park but leaves scarce details on the future of these animals.

“It’s gone from bad to worse. Everything is set for Noah’s Arc to be shipwrecked,” said Claudio Bertonatti, former Buenos Aires zoo director and consultant for the Fundacion Azara non-governmental organization.

Here is look at some of the animals at Buenos Aires Zoo:

Buenos Aires Zoo
AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
Buenos Aires Zoo
AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
Buenos Aires Zoo
AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
Buenos Aires Zoo
AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
Buenos Aires Zoo
AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
Buenos Aires Zoo
AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
Buenos Aires Zoo

City officials have struggled with the process of transferring the animals, needing the authorization of legislation and a study done by an official to determine what animals can be moved. And it was just recently that an official was hired. A critical problem for the zoo-trained animals is the exposure to the wild and possibly dying if moved from their current habitant. A number of groups—including veterinarian groups—want specifics from officials. In April, they took action by writing a letter demanding answers on the future conditions for these animals. Some of the animals, like the three elephants residing at the park, even have legal representation demanding better quality of life.