11/05/20 Report against the Osijek Zoo: The lioness bit off a third of its foot

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Animal Friends Croatia strongly condemns the negligence of the management of the Osijek Zoo, which led to the death of the lioness

- They invited everyone not to visit zoos, which are prisons for sad and exploited animals

Horrified by the negligence of the Osijek Zoo administration, which allowed the wounded lioness to suffer for weeks before they tried to help her, and eventually kill her, the Animal Friends Croatia filed a criminal report to the competent state attorney's office. "Zoos are places of great suffering for animals anyway, but to fail to help an animal that is obviously suffering is a crime of grave neglect, which is why we filed a criminal complaint," says AFC. They add that the outcome could have been different had the treatment started immediately or at least the weeks-long suffering of the lioness could have been shortened.

The lioness, who underwent surgery on September 15, 2020., for dental problems, suffered paresis of her right hind leg as a result of being placed under anesthesia. Due to the sensation of tingling in the said leg, the lioness began to injure herself and within a few weeks, she ate a third of her foot. Despite warnings from caretakers that the lioness was self-harming, the management of the Osijek Zoo ignored the suffering of the animal and reacted only after the media published footage of the severely wounded lioness. Management concluded that the unfortunate lioness would remain permanently disabled and killed the animal after a month of her suffering.

AFC notes that this is not the first case of huge omission and neglect that Osijek Zoo has made: "Let us remind you that last December a wolf escaped from the Osijek Zoo and was caught only a few days later. Also, about ten years ago in the same zoo, a lion died because it was separated from the pack and placed in a small concrete cage. We are constantly warning that the concept of zoos is completely wrong and that zoos are not adequate places for animals. ”

They state that this tragic case of a lioness clearly shows how unacceptable it is to keep animals in captivity, where they are lonely and where they get mad from boredness, without the possibility of creating social ties with members of their species, without the opportunity for mental stimulation or physical activity and without the ability to behave as they do in their natural habitats. Therefore, they suffer from zoopsychosis, abnormal and self-destructive behavior: they are anxious, constantly shaking their heads, bite the bars, walk around in circles inside the cage and bite their own limbs, which leads to disease and/or death.

AFC points out that zoos are prisons for sad and exploited animals whose lives visitors can learn nothing about, while at the same time their natural habitats are being destroyed and wild animals being killed. They urge everyone not to visit zoos and not to support the suffering of captive animals. They conclude that we should observe animals in their natural habitats or learn about them by watching documentaries, television programs, or reading about them online, in books and magazines, rather than watching their grief and lethargy in ethically unacceptable institutions such as zoos.

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