Tarsus Zoo: A Disgrace

The Tarsus Zoo Entrance

Before visiting Tarsus Zoo last Sunday, I never recalled hearing of the place. It would have been better if I had never heard of it.

On the hot early summer day the smell of faeces was almost unbearable. The rows of exotic animals were kept in tiny concrete and steel cages with very little room as if they were all on death row. I don’t think the vulture could even stretch it wings fully.

The Tarsus Zoo is something out of the middle ages, prior to the existence of modern zoological science and animal welfare. I imagine most zoos looked like this 100 years ago.

To see the big cats, birds of prey, bears and other supposedly wild animals in cramped and sterile conditions was heart-wrenching. The following pictures only tell part of the story.

One of the bears with overgrown claws and probably a hundred other health problems

The other bear “enjoying a summer snooze”

Around 15 birds of prey were kept in one small, artificial cage

I don’t know if the two lions (only one is in the photo) ever get to feel the sun shine on their skin

The primate in the concrete enclosure

The tiger pacing up and down as one does when there is nothing else to do

The vulture had two open sores on its rib area

I really hope Tarsus Council either close the zoo or radically improve its animal facilities. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were no tertiary trained zoologists or wild animal veterinarians employed by the council.

I’d be willing to pay much more than the 60 kurus entrance fee if it meant the animals could at lease minimise their suffering. Such a major zoo overhaul would cost millions of lira, something I doubt the council could justify. It wouldn’t cost too much to close, though.

To write to the council and voice your disapproval of the zoo’s animal enclosures, their email is bilgi@tarsus.bel.tr.

One thought on “Tarsus Zoo: A Disgrace

  1. Horrible pictures..Poor animals!
    I am sure it would be just as bad if we had a big zoo in Syria..So I am glad we don’t!
    I was surprized though that I saw similar things in France, a developped country, in Lyon..

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