Luis Escobar / La Paz
The Directorate General of Protected Areas, under the national government, has instructed the closure of the Visti Bacchus local bio-park, in Malasa, after 88 animals died so far this year and complaints of biological extermination. The management of this space stated that the measure did not follow the corresponding process and would affect the animals because by suspending the collection of income, they would not have enough resources to purchase food.
“According to our authorities, since the municipality does not take expectations and is not responsible for managing the bio-park, we are starting a process of neglect and bio-extermination. The Director-General of Protected Areas, Omar Yuma, said yesterday, (therefore) we are temporarily suspending its license.
The official warned that there is a shortage of workers in the vital park, that the capacity of this space has been exceeded and warned of “overcrowding” of the animals.
He explained that 88, not 50, animals have died so far this year. Temporarily, we will move forward (with closure) until the investigations are completed and the causes of death determined. (We need) to know what happened to the animals,” the Director-General of Protected Areas warned.
Geraldine Doran, director of the bio-park, announced a few days ago that 50 animals died because they were in the last stage of their lives, were old or arrived at the bio-park in poor condition.
“When we receive the confiscated animals, the animals arrive (to the bio-park) in poor condition due to the same flight and poor handling inside the fairs. They arrive dehydrated and few can survive,” Doran said.
When asked why she initially indicated 50 deaths and not 88 as the National Authority stated, Doran replied: “It was an estimate. In these deaths were lizards, there was even a parrot that arrived about 50 as a result of seizures.”
A complaint of abuse and genocide that surfaced on Tuesday led to an inspection by the General Directorate of Protected Areas, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Environmental and Forestry Police (Pofuma).
According to Doran, the minutes of the entity inspection ended with some notes. They didn’t mention anything about the lockdown or say we committed genocide. On the contrary, they recommended the need for improvement in several aspects. For example, provide more employees and improve environments. They just mentioned that we should provide the documents up-to-date and in order.”
The final announcement came yesterday afternoon. Doran confirmed yesterday afternoon that this document did not arrive and announced a resumption of this procedure. These are not the correct steps. First they should ask for a technical report and we ask for an external audit so they can see the good management of the department and the animals. According to this, they will be able to see if it complies or not (closure).”
The decision of the national leadership takes between three and four weeks. Doran noted that it is strange that this procedure takes place in less than 24 hours.
Doran emphasized that the eventual closure of the biopark’s gates could directly affect the animals themselves. He explained that from Tuesday to Friday, due to income from visitors, this space houses at least 8,000 bolivianos. Between Saturday and Sunday they gather 28 thousand Bolivians. On a three-day holiday, the figure rose to 90,000 Bolivians.
“We have enough economic income on the weekends with people visiting. This money helps with nutrition and many things are covered for vital garden expenses. He warned that if the bio-park closed, we would have no income to feed and care for the 524 animals.
Mayor Ivan Arias characterized the government’s instructions to temporarily close the biopark as an “unbearable interference” and “an assault on property in La Paz”. “They want to seize something in which they do not even put crumbs. Politics and extremism which only seek to destroy the business. They are veiled by obvious accusations, faster than an ostrich, they want to plunder the property of La Paz.”
Fear of closure and complaints
We start the process of neglect and biocides. (So) we are temporarily suspended
Omar Yuma Director of Reserves
What did they lose their lives in?
Goes of the year in the biopark,
According to the authorities.