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Vets slam treatment of animals at seaside zoo

Lancashire Evening Post


Independent vets today slammed conditions at Southport Zoo and called for the animals to be rehomed.

The Evening Post has received leaked reports by two wildlife experts who visited the zoo at the request of the Captive Animals Protection Society. Europe's leading primate sanctuary also blasted conditions two chimpanzees are kept in and asked for them to be handed over immediately. In the forthcoming series of television's Monkey Business, Southport Zoo bosses Doug and Carol Petrie will be asked to allow Monkey World take over the care of chimps Jackie and Jason. Two vets, Simon Adams, who works internationally, and Samantha Scott, a lecturer at Glasgow University, secretly visited Southport Zoo in the autumn. Samantha said the gibbons had "pitifully small areas in which to exercise" and that two snow leopards were in an "utterly inappropriate primate cage". However, her strongest concerns were for the safety of the chimps. She said: "One of the chimps had two large wounds, one on the back and one on the left hand side, which were clearly visible and fairly fresh. "The second chimp, presumably the cause of the wounds, sat guarding the entrance to the indoor enclosure. "Neither of these are particularly strong indications that these chimps are getting on as well as the zoo management would like to have us believe. "There is a home for these chimps in Monkey World and the management should stop trying to justify their continued presence at Southport Zoo. "The likelihood of one killing or seriously injuring the other is extremely high, but even the continued stress and tension of an uneasy alliance is a welfare issue." Samantha said the zoo was "woefully inadequate" in trying to maintain the number and range of species of species. However, unlike many animal rights activists, she can see a possible future for the zoo. She added: "They should look to redistribute their cat species, which they are completely unable to manage in the space they have. "The chimps should be rehoused to Monkey World and the zoo could then concentrate on expanding the enclosures and concentrate on smaller, easier to manage species. "It should use the saved time and money to implement serious and sensible environmental changes to improve the welfare of the animals." Simon Adams said most of the animals looked well fed and in a reasonable condition but again raised concerns about the chimps. He said: "Clearly the zoo faces very serious problems with the two remaining male chimps Jackie and Jason. "I believe it would be in the best interests of Southport Zoo and the best welfare interests of the chimps if they were rehomed to Monkey World as soon as possible." Jim and Alison Cronin, who own Monkey World in Dorset, visited the zoo to see the conditions for themselves. Jim said: "The condition of some of the animals in Southport I found absolutely shocking." Alison said: "In series five, the offer was made to Doug and Carol Petrie on camera, on television. "They just did not seem to have the best interests of the chimps at heart. "There are two chimps there and one was hand-reared by Carol Petrie and they have said that we could have the one that they did not hand rear."

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