Venezuelan zoos are being raided for food by the citizens. The worsening food crisis in the country has caused a crazed struggle for sustenance with people stealing and butchering zoo animals.
The animals that call these zoos their home are being stolen and butchered by starving citizens while the country considers political solutions. Incidentally, the animals too are already on the brink of death due to rations steadily drying up, leaving almost all creatures, many of them endangered, showing signs of emaciation.
Last week, a group of intruders broke into the Caricuao Zoo in Caracas, Venezuela, tore open the cage of a rare black stallion, and dragged the poor creature out. The group then slaughtered the horse on the spot and tore the flesh from its body. The savage nature of the crime has left zoo officials terrified. The hungry savages left only the head and bare ribs of the stallion. Horrified zoo keepers found the sickening remains of the horse when they entered its cage the next day. The rare stallion was the sole member of its species at the zoo, said one of the officials.
Worryingly, the theft and slaughter of a horse isn’t a rare incident. Earlier this month, pigs that had been imported from Vietnam as well as some hard to find the variety of sheep from the region were stolen by the locals. While the fate of the poor creatures hasn’t been confirmed, officials noted that they were almost certainly killed for food, reported Your News Wire.
The fate of the creatures has gone from bad to worse since the food crisis has deteriorated in Venezuela. According to True Activist, if the animals aren’t being stolen and butchered to feed the starving Venezuelans, they are dying from starvation. Although the zoo officials haven’t openly complained, food rations have been dwindling to dangerous levels as shipments are often delayed severely or cancelled entirely, leaving the animals hungry for many days, said Marlene Sifontes, a union leader at INPARQUES, the government agency that runs the Caricuao Zoo.
“The situation that our zoo is going through is very sad. We have animals that have not eaten for up to 15 days, which affects their health.”
The Inquisitr previously reported on the deplorable conditions of the zoo animals. In the last six months alone, more than 50 animals in the various zoos scattered throughout the country have died either due to malnutrition or downright hunger. Animals, such as Vietnamese pigs, tapirs, rabbits, and birds, are just some of the species on the list. The acute shortage of food and rations has forced zoo officials to offer completely unorthodox food that the animals don’t normally consume, reported Reuters. While lions and tigers are being fed pumpkins instead of meat, elephants are being kept alive on a diet of tropical fruits instead of hay.
In the light of recent events, government officials are trying to transport a dozen animals from one zoo to another. However, for the hundreds of other creatures, the situation could get even worse in the coming days.
The situation involving the animals isn’t much different from citizens of Venezuela. The lines outside supermarkets are steadily getting longer as corporations are profiting from the food crisis. Prices of items of daily sustenance have skyrocketed in recent times. Despite being severely overpriced, people are finding it increasingly difficult to procure meat, rice, and chicken.
Local activists blame the government for enforcing stringent price controls and foreign exchange controls. Such policies make it difficult for local businesses to import or produce food at competitive costs and sell at viable and sustainable prices.
[Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images]