01/26/16 Split Zoo of Horror: Never Again

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Animal Friends Croatia appeal to the City of Split to permanently close the zoo and build an animal shelter instead

- Split asks for new tourist attractions on the Marjan hill – AFC: choose a project which does not include animal exploitation

After a praiseworthy decision of the City of Split to close the zoo and relocate most of the animals, a public tender for new tourist attractions on the premises of the zoo has been invited. The application deadline is January 31, 2016. The AFC deems very important that when choosing future projects, the City of Split not choose a project which includes animals in any way.

Everybody has become aware that over the last ten years the Marjan zoo has become not only a symbol of animal suffering but also a bad cultural, educational, and tourist promotion of the city. It attracted a lot of publicity and at the same time took a lot of money from the citizens. During that time, Split failed to regulate and monitor the operations of the zoo.

It is of central importance as well as in the best interest of the city to prevent in advance projects which would include the exploitation of animals, whether wild or domestic. Such contents in no way represent Split's public needs. As a city with long cultural and historical traditions as well as a rich tourist offer, Split is now facing a historic moment; it has a unique opportunity to demonstrate both its heart and its reason by insisting on the only ethical and logical decision to stop using animals for entertainment and spending money for that purposes.

There are a lot of contents to be offered, whether on Marjan or elsewhere. If Split's Natural History Museum wishes to continue show-casing various animals, a virtual education centre, with the help of advanced computer technology as well as already-available 3D technology, could provide the opportunity for the citizens to see animals in their natural habitats or even walk among them. Besides, there is a range of projects, such as a botanical garden, a planetarium, an adrenaline park, a promenade with educative panels, which are cheaper to keep and culturally and touristically more advanced.

It is a sad and well-known fact that Split does not have a shelter for abandoned animals nor does it have an information centre. It also does not have animal housing, spay/neuter, or foster programmes, even though there has been a regulation issued as far back as 2007. It is in the interest of animals and all citizens of Split that a huge amount of money potentially intended for unnecessary building of a new zoo or similar content be invested in the building of a new shelter for abandoned animals.

The opening of a shelter for abandoned animals could have an enormous educational potential and be of great social value. The need for a shelter is much bigger than the need for a zoo or a similar establishment. A well-organised and a well-managed shelter would present Split in a very positive light culturally and touristically, as well as help solve the problem of abandoned animals. Schools, kindergartens, even tourists could visit the shelter, and there would still be some money left for other humanitarian projects, but also for the city's cultural development.

Animal Friends Croatia hope that the closing of the zoo will be only the first step towards building an ethical and an advanced city, one which will not allow any more neglecting and exploitation of animals, but one which will serve as a positive example to other cities by refusing all projects that include animal imprisonment or exploitation.

For more information on the subject see www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr.

Bear in the Split ZOO

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