13 November 2012

South Africa: Western Cape's only zoo closed its doors

The only Zoo in the Cape Town area, the Tygerberg Zoo, has closed its doors. According to the owner, Lorraine Spence, high maintenance costs and dwindling visitor numbers forced the decision to sell the 25 hectare property where the zoo was located. The zoo was home to lions, tigers, zebras, cheetahs, chimpanzees as well as to 160 bird species and 63 reptile species.
As a member of the African Association of Zoos, Tygerberg Zoo sold all animals to accredited people only. The lions, tigers, a number of small animals as well as the chimpanzees were, for instance, taken in by the Drakenstein Lion Park, located about 30min from Cape Town in the Cape Winelands. The park is currently building a new facility called "Chimp Haven", which is is expected to open in December 2012, especially to house the eight chimpanzees from the Tygerberg Zoo. Tygerberg's springboks got relocated to a farm in Darling while the reptiles were sold to accredited zoo owners elsewhere in South Africa.

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