BirdLife Cyprus has been following closely the issue regarding the recent developments at Melios Zoo Park, for what concerns the center’s operating conditions, the species it hosts and their living conditions.
The fact that many of the species found at Melios Zoo Park are protected by international treaties and under strict laws, raises the importance of the issue, as it raises concerns relating to species conservation status and trade at a global level, as well as their welfare.
Therefore, it is extremely important for national authorities to be very strict when checking compliance at Melios Zoo Park, according to international zoo operation standards, wild animal welfare and in parallel, to also consider the role of Melios Zoo Park for what concerns the protection and conservation of wildlife.
In general terms, government authorities should enforce strictly both the law relating to wild animal trade, and animal welfare. The fact that zoos keep wild animals, makes the issue of welfare even more pertinent, as those animals are not used by their nature to life in a cage. Furthermore, the fact that the government doesn’t have a place to take confiscated animals for keeping, is a huge gap that needs to be addressed urgently, and raises questions about whether this acts as a deterrent to stricter controls.
Given the urgent and imperative problem of continuing biodiversity loss worldwide, the zoos’ role in 21st century can be justified only if their main activities concern species and nature conservation and awareness raising about the need for conservation.