This is the moment animal activists film two desperate hippos in a locked-down Argentine zoo which are kept in a small enclosure with a dried-out pool and no water to drink.
The incident was filmed in Cordoba Zoo in the northern Argentine province of Cordoba on 25th July while the animal park was still closed to the public to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The footage was shared by members of the animal rights group ‘Cordobans Against The Zoo’ with the message: “Two hippos are living without water. They opened their huge dry mouths and begged for water and food. The hippos were crying.”
The footage has been viewed nearly 200,000 times on Twitter while a subsequent online petition launched by the animal rights group to close the zoo has quickly amassed over 150,000 signatures.
Tomas Schroder, spokesperson for Cordobans Against The Zoo, told Newsflash that the activists who took the footage do not belong to his organisation, but they support their actions.
Schroder added: “The brown bears there were being fed dog food and the camel has notorious fur problems.”
Meanwhile, the activists who filmed the footage said in a statement published by Cordobans Against The Zoo: “We did not commit any acts of vandalism, we only did it for the voiceless, the animals.”
They added that they wish to remain anonymous because they are “scared of the vibe around the zoo bosses”.
Zoo Insumos Agropecuarios S.A., the company that manages the park, told national newspaper La Voz that the animal park is going through serious financial hardship worsened by COVID-19 lockdown measures.
The company has also allegedly received several complaints from employees about payment delays.
Zoo Insumos Agropecuarios spokesperson Daniel Seery told La Voz that the animals are being well cared for and eat between 40 and 70 kilogrammes of food every day.
Seery also said that they are considering legal action against the individuals who filmed the images.
Meanwhile, the city mayor said on Twitter that the authorities will “immediately intervene” to “guarantee the feeding and health of the animals”.
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Story By: Amanda Morales, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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