No set date for reopening of zoo

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There is still no set date as to when Bloemfontein residents can visit the Bloemfontein zoo after the closure by the Department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea) in December.

According to the department, due to the municipality breaching acts and regulations by keeping protected species with their permits being expired, the decision was made that the zoo will be closed until the municipality has secured the necessary environment permits.

The department, together with the SPCA, conducted an inspection late last year and found that the zoo violated the National Environmental Biodiversity Act, 10 of 2004, and Free State Nature Conservation Ordinance 8 of 1969 as well as TOPS regulations.

Meanwhile, Mangaung Metro Municipality ensures residents of the city that the animals are well taken care of while the zoo is temporarily closed. The spokesperson of the municipality, Qondile Khedama, told Bloemfontein Courant that the cages are being cleaned daily, the animals are well fed and also receive clean water.

Khedama said the animals are healthy and that the curators as well as the zoo keepers, who are municipal workers, are looking after the health and wellbeing of animals. On the question of how long the zoo will still be closed, he said that the decision on the opening of the zoo lies with the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea).

Sazly Hartzenberg
sazly@centralmediagroup.co.za