The Guardian recently reported on how a main zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital city, will be closing down and will instead be replaced by an ecological park.
The announcement was made by Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, who confirmed the zoo would be shut down after being open for 140 years. He stated:
"Today this place generates more sorrow than happiness. This situation of captivity is degrading for the animals, it's not the way to take care of them. Animals have to live in their habitat, not in the middle of buildings. The transformation is going to be a process that will take time but we believe that it is the time to do it."
The 44-acre zoo currently holds about 2,500 animals, most of which will be relocated to nature reserves and sanctuaries--both local and abroad. About 50 older or sick animals are expected to remain at the new ecological park, which will also become home to animals rescued from illegal trafficking. According to the mayor, the ecopark will be:
"A place where children can learn how to take care of and relate with the different species. What we have to value is the animals."
The zoo had received international outrage over the treatment of its animals--most notably when the last of its polar bears died from the zoo's inability to regulate temperatures in the facility during the Argentinian summers. The capital city's decision will hopefully inspire other Argentinian cities to follow suit, and take a stance against animal captivity.
Photo Credit: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk