Another animal has died at the Yerevan Zoo.
On November 30, a puma was found dead after eating
meat infected with anthrax, becoming the fifth
animal to die in the past month. (A lion died
two weeks ago, but zoo officials had documents
that show its death was of illness not related
to the poison.)
On November 8 ArmeniaNow reported the deaths
of a silver puma, a serval and a lynx, all having
died from eating meat infected with anthrax (see
A committee called by Yerevan mayor Robert Nazaryan
investigated the deaths and recommended the dismissal
of two top zoo officials.
News of the latest animal death was carefully
controlled by authorities, but ArmeniaNow has
learned that the puma died, like the first three
large cats, because it was fed meat infected with
the deadly poison.
Zoo director Sahak Abovyan has maintained that
all possible measures are being taken to insure
that the zoo's predator cats are being fed meat
that has been carefully inspected and all areas
of the zoo have been disinfected.
"I don't know why these incidents happen,"
Abovyan told ArmeniaNow. "I wouldn't exclude
that somebody is trying to do harm to me. However,
I assure you that everything is under control.
"It is pity that this incident took place,
but we shouldn't be overly concerned."
Following the first deaths, Yerevan municipality
promised that measures would be taken to insure
proper treatment and care of animals, including
bringing in specialists to monitor meat intake
of the predators. But such actions have remained
on paper and have not yet been implemented, including
the dismissal of caretakers.
"We have no guarantee that this kind of
incidents won't continue under careless management,"
says a municipality specialist, "and nobody
can say what is going on in the promised disinfected
zoo. But it is fact that today there is danger
both for animals and children visiting the zoo