Wed, Oct 10, 2007 - Page 2 News List

City councilors slam Taipei Zoo

ZOO STORY Zoo director Chen Pao-chung said there was an imbalance among the animals in terms of gender, but said the zoo could improve many areas

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

A total of 1,603 animals have died in five years at the Taipei City Zoo, which only provided limited space for its animals and failed to find mates for them, Taipei City councilors alleged yesterday.

Besides being responsible for the deaths of more than 1,000 animals, the zoo also failed to breed 66 kinds of endangered animals, including the Nile crocodile and the Asian elephant, and not grouping males and females in cages, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chuan Jui-hsiung (莊瑞雄) said.

"The zoo carries the responsibility of being a place for animal conservation and ecological protection, but it has become a graveyard for animals," Chuan said yesterday at the Taipei City Council.

In response, Taipei Zoo director Chen Pao-chung (陳寶忠) said the deaths of the animals were natural and that the zoo has bred more than 1,000 animals over the past five years.

"The life expectancy of some animals is only about 10 years, and we should not judge the death rate of animals according to the standards of human beings," Chen said.

Chen acknowledged a gender imbalance among the animals, but added that it was difficult for the zoo to find mates for endangered species.

The zoo will seek to establish a better environment for the animals through birth control, healthcare and by expanding the variety of species, Chen added.

Statistics provided by Chao Ming-chieh (趙明杰), chief of the zoo's animal team, showed the average death rate of the animals at Taipei City Zoo last year was 7.8 percent, while the death rate at the Ueno Zoo in Japan was 32 percent.

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