Belvedere Zoo, constructed in 1963 and located in the center of the Tunisian capital has regularly faced disapproval for the extremely precarious and unhealthy conditions in which animals are forced to live. They are imprisoned in very small cages, neglected, dehydrated, and malnourished in a facility where maintenance, hygiene and good care are not provided.
Despite rising public attention and international criticism following some unpleasant episodes of animal cruelty and abuse happened over the last years, many people still report the terrible living conditions that animals are kept in.
Belvedere Zoo’s animals have been suffering terrible conditions for years. Some of them have already died, and the remaining are sick and depressed and will soon lose their lives if the authorities don’t take an urgent and decisive measure to solve the problem and find a proper solution to protect them.
Citizens, animal activists and associations have already stood up asking to stop this suffering but no answer has been given so far.
There is no surveillance and no zookeepers inside the zoo, so people feel free to misbehave and do whatever they want to the animals, from feeding to mistreating them. In 2017 a crocodile was found dead because some visitors decided to stone him to death.
Through photos and videos shared on social media, the miserable health conditions of the animals were shown worldwide, reinforcing the poor reputation of the zoo. After the crocodile’s death the municipality started some maintenance work, but the conditions in which animals are held are still pitiful and the zoo continues to display a lack of resources and personnel.
There are still starving and neglected animals, monkeys perishing in tiny cages, pigs undernourished and without water, a bear in agony unable to move, a lion abandoned in a pit, injured animals not treated, and many others.
OIPA International wants to report this terrible situation, which violates all international conventions for the protection of animals and the environment. We ask the municipality of Tunis and the government of Tunisia to cooperate and find a solution in order the save the surviving animals and relocate them to sanctuaries, where they can benefit from adequate care and an environment that meets their natural needs.
We now ask for your help to put pressure on the Tunisian government and give these animals a chance.
You can send a letter to the following:
- Tunis Municipality – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ministry of Local Affaires and Environment – email@example.com
- Belvedere Zoo – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ministry of Tourism – email@example.com
- Embassy of your country in Tunis
Example suggested text: “I am aware of the extremely precarious and unhealthy living conditions that animals suffer at the Belvedere Zoo in Tunis. They are imprisoned in small cages, neglected, dehydrated, malnourished, sick and depressed in a facility where maintenance, hygiene and good care are not provided. This terrible situation violates all international conventions for the protection of animals and the environment. I ask the municipality of Tunis and the government of Tunisia to cooperate and find a solution in order the save the surviving animals and relocate them to sanctuaries where they can benefit from adequate care and an environment that meets their natural needs. Animals deserve to live in the wild, enjoying their freedom, and not suffering imprisoned for the sake of human beings. Thank you.”
Featured image: a bear at Belvedere Zoo. This image and all images in this post via OIPA International.