The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Abuse, Found at Natal Zoological Gardens, Lion Park and Brian Boswells Circus

By Sherlissa Peters

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife confirmed on Sunday that they remain "concerned" about the conditions in which animals live under the care of the Natal Zoological Gardens, the Lion Park and Brian Boswell's Circus.

Ezemvelo last week lost the battle in their bid to impose tighter control over the way animals are being cared for when MEC for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs Lydia Johnson upheld an appeal by Boswell against the stringent conditions imposed by the latest permits issued by Ezemvelo to allow him to hold these captive wild animals.

Ezemvelo alleged that Boswell kept animals, including chimpanzees, lions, elephants and cheetahs, at his Lion Park and Zoo in "intolerable and appalling conditions", but was found by Johnson to have flouted procedure when it imposed restrictions on his permits and licences.

Johnson ruled that Ezemvelo had acted procedurally unfairly towards Boswell when the body substantially altered the terms and conditions of his permits without warning, and without giving him a chance to make representations, and ordered that the restricted permits issued to Boswell be set aside and re-issued.

But Johnson said she remained concerned about the "disturbing" picture of alleged cruel neglect at Boswell's establishments, and has ordered Ezemvelo to lay criminal complaints against Boswell.

Ezemvelo Chief Executive Officer Dr Bandile Mkhize said the organisation would put the interests of the animals first and would continue to engage with Boswell.

Boswell's temporary reprieve came just a day before he was due to face Ezemvelo in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

This followed his application for an urgent interdict two weeks ago to stop the authorities interfering with his business pending the outcome of his appeal against the new restrictions.

In opposing Boswell's application, Ezemvelo submitted videos and photographs of an "extremely emaciated" chimpanzee and another with broken teeth.

Lions and other animals were found in urine-soaked and overcrowded cages.

Elephants were found to be chained during the night with no access to water.

In court papers, Boswell accused Ezemvelo of maliciously trying to shut down his businesses.

He said his animals were bred in captivity, hand-reared and trained for the circus and other commercial interests.

It was agreed in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday that the permits issued to Boswell should be valid until December 31, 2009.

With regard to next year, Ezemvelo was ordered to notify Boswell of any intention to issue permits in a different manner and to give him the opportunity to make representations on the proposed changes.

Ezemvelo said it was disappointed with the MEC's decision, which it said seemed to be based on legal technicalities, but would do everything in its power to ensure the welfare of these animals.

This article was originally published on page 7 of Daily News on August 10, 2009


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