The proposal of an Argentine zoo to allow visitor access to the cages of lions and tigers has generated controversy in the South American country.
The property is now facing closure after having violated the regulations, according to official sources.
Dozens of people lined up daily to pet wild animals as if they were household pets and photographed next to them in the Lujan Zoo, about 70 kilometers west of Buenos Aires, until the provincial authorities intervened.
“The rules of the province of Buenos Aires prohibited since 1998, the approach of the public towards wild animals,” said Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs of Buenos Aires, Leonardo Mascitelli.
According Mascitelli, the Lujan Zoo drags previous complaints, so that a new sentence could mean a significant “economic sanctions or closure”.
Ministry officials were aware of the offense through the images posted on social networks by visiting the zoo with lions and tigers in a docile attitude and a visit from inspectors confirmed suspicions.
Those responsible for the establishment claimed that it is “domesticated animals” and “no risk” for those who decide to approach them.
The Lujan Zoo has been repeatedly denounced for animal abuse by organizations that defend animal rights.
In 2012, a pony bit a girl of four years in the Buenos Aires zoo, while years earlier, in the zoo of Ezeiza, a seven-year-old was attacked by a bear when she tried to feed.
Source | EFE