LOOK: Durban's Mitchell Park Zoo investigated for alleged animal neglect

By ZAINUL DAWOOD Time of article published Jan 14, 2020

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Durban -  The Durban and Coastal SPCA is investigating claims that animals were being poorly treated at the Mitchell Park Zoo in Durban. 

The investigation began after a post with a detailed list of complaints was made by Kerry Katz Facebook page on Tuesday.

The post has since gone viral on social media. 

Katz friend Sureshnie Rieder said Katz and her family are deeply passionate about the flora and fauna Kingdom in KwaZulu-Natal. Rieder said that on katz's recent visit to Mitchell Park she discovered that it's not in the condition that we were used to seeing it in. Rieder pleaded with the public that if they have friends at council or people who are in charge of the welfare of these creatures that call Mitchell Park their home to assist.

Katz made the following allegations: 

1. Social creatures like Cockatoos, mongoose and iguanas cannot be kept in solitary confinement. They need a mate or a family.

2. Water bowls that have not been changed in quite some time. With temperatures into the 30s, how is no one worried about animals not having water?

3. Broken pump in mongoose and meerkat enclosures mean stale green water that is not being changed.

4. Emu with large open wound on its neck.

5. A miserable macaw that is plucking it's feathers.

6. Eye infections in some of the birds.

7. The turtle pond is green with algae. It contains no fish at all. The turtles shells are coated with algae...this can lead to a bacterial infections that eats away at the shell.

8. A chicken that needs its beak filed down so it can eat.

9. A lone cockatoo without a perch, it's water bowl in the sun and no toys for stimulation.

10. The beautiful koi pond is now so green, it's difficult to spot the fish.

11.Holes in roofs are not being fixed, so vervet monkeys get in and polish off all the animals food.

12. Croc enclosure needs algae scrubbed off entire pond.

13. The only ladies toilet is leaking so badly, it's a swimming pool on slippery floor tiles. So gross!

"My son and I watched a dying duck, struggling to walk. We assume the poo in the water is the cause. Bird poo is toxic, even to birds. We had to ask three staff members until one obliged and saw to the duck, very begrudgingly,"Katz wrote. 

The eThekwini Municipality have not responded to the allegations made by Katz yet. 

Durban and Coastal SPCA spokesperson Tanya Fleischer said they are investigating the allegations. 

Picture by Kerry Katz

Animal rescue and fundraiser for animals in need, Mandy Catterson Wilson said it saddens me to wake up to messages as far away as New Zealand alerting her to the conditions of the Animals at Mitchell park Zoo.

"Where is the care? The moment you undertake to lock an animal in a cage and render it helpless the onus is upon you to maintain its health and wellbeing,  this is not just about food, water and shelter but also stems to mental stimulation. The neglect here is serious and i certainly hope to see an urgent change,"Wilson said

Daily News

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