Video Credit: AsiaWire
A zoo has been accused of mistreating its animals after a shocking video showed endless rows of cages and an injured deer with a rotting and reportedly maggot-infested leg.
Nanhu Park Zoo in Shuyang County, which is in Jiangsu Province in East China, charges visitors 20 RMB (2 GBP) per ticket to see its collection of animals.
But visitor Ms Liu, who went to the zoo on 4th November, has shared images showing some of the allegedly appalling conditions in which the rare or threatened animals are living.
In her video, an injured Sika deer (Cervus nippon) can be seen lying in its bare cage with a badly injured front leg, which appears to be festering and reportedly covered with maggots.
A large, adult Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) is seen in another cage, poking its snout out of wire mesh surrounding its tiny enclosure.
Ms Liu said: “The first thing you notice as you walk in is a waft of faeces and urine. There are a bunch of metal cages. Nothing else.
“The first animal I saw was the black bear. Its snout was surrounded by metal wires.
“Then I saw the sika deer. There were two of them. One of them had an injured leg which was surrounded by flies and infested with maggots.
“How could they just leave animals in this state? It was heartbreaking.”
Sika deer and Asian black bear are Class I and Class I state-protected species respectively.
The miserable state of the zoo has left members of the public wondering how the park was ever granted a permit to keep animals, which Ms Liu says includes monkeys, horses, peacocks, rabbits, a single squirrel, crocodiles, and even dogs.
The only public statement from Nanhu Park Zoo has come in the form of a comment from its director, who said the injured Sika deer has already been treated.
The county’s Bureau of Land and Resources said that operations at the zoo had been suspended in order to “make improvements”.
It confirmed the director’s claims that the sika deer had already received treatment, explaining that the animal injured itself while trying to leap out of its cage.
Social media users are calling for the zoo to be shut.
Netizen ‘Nide Dameiniuo’ wrote: “These third- and fourth-tier cities should not have zoos. I suggest the state reconsiders for the sake of these poor animals.”
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