Food shipment to Castrolandia disguised as zoological gift

Bear pit at the Havana zoo
Bear pit at the Havana zoo

This is one way of paying for the “doctors” that Castrolandia sends to Namibia. Where is PETA when you really need it? If these animals don’t starve to death, they could end up as an exotic meal in some Castronoid Christmas eve dinner. Before they meet their end, however, they will have to live in enclosures such as the one above, recently photographed.

Cuban zoo gets gift of African animals from Namibia
Published October 30, 2012

Cuba’s National Zoo will expand and assure the continuance of its collection of African animals with a donation of 23 species that will be shipped in mid-November from a forest reserve in Namibia to their new grassland habitat on the Caribbean island.

A specially chartered flight dubbed “Operation Noah’s Ark 2” will land Nov. 14 in Havana with most of the 183 animals that comprise the Namibian government’s donation, zoo directors and specialists said.
“We have created all the necessary conditions, guaranteeing food and medical supplies, in strict compliance with international regulations. We’re ready to received the animals” to enlarge the collection, zoo director Miguel Luis Abud said.

The donation to the island zoo is a “sovereign decision, the result of our strong bonds of friendship, brotherhood and excellent relations,” the commercial head of the Namibian Embassy in Cuba, Collin O’Brien Namalambo, said.
Since it was opened to the public in 1984, when the African fauna for exhibition arrived from Tanzania, the largest zoo in Cuba with its extension of 342 hectares (844 acres) has not until now received new specimens except by reproduction of the animals living in this Havana habitat, the experts said.

Antelopes, vultures, spotted and brown hyenas, lions, leopards, black-backed jackals, cheetahs, caracals, porcupines and bat-eared foxes will make up the first shipment of 131 animals of 20 species.
Remaining for a second shipment in March 2013 will be five elephants along with 10 rhinoceroses of both the black and white varieties.

For a keen assessment of this piece of news by a couple of Cuban bloggers, see the following article, from Translating Cuba:

zoo 2

S. O. S. for the Zoo by Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada  (for more photos of the zoo, go here).

Havana – Once again the international media talks about the shipment of 146 animals from Namibia to Cuba. The act will fulfill the agreements signed by both governments a few months ago.

Just to cite some examples, there are elephants, black rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs and antelopes on the list of species. These animals will be removed of their natural habitat and will have as their final destination one of the two Zoos of Havana, God only knows.

To this date, it has been said that the shipment of these 23 species of animals will be carried out by plane and will take place in October of this year. The shipment has been named “Noah’s Ark II.”

It is embarrassing for the Cuban people that these animals are being removed from their natural habitats to be put in captivity or, in the best case, to be taken to the new Zoo, which is located on the outskirts of the city and is currently undergoing restoration.

For years we have been deprived from seeing in our Zoos animals like those that soon will be landing in the capital. What is really sad for us and, calls all of those who may be concerned about this issue to reflect, is the treatment that these animals will receive on the island.

In recent years the parks for animal exhibitions throughout the entire country have suffered a high decay. In many of the cases, they lack the required diet to feed these animals, or when they have it, it is scarce. The sanitation of the facilities where the animals will live does not even have the slightest similarities to their natural habitat.

With the pictures that we are publishing today, taken at the Zoo on 26th Street in the Cuban capital, I make a warning call to all the international organizations for animal protection to reflect on the shipment of these animals to Havana.

If the animals are sent as scheduled, they are at risk of living in the same conditions the animals we already have live under.

It is important to point out that the Namibians are the ones financing this shipment. The Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, currently headed by Minister Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah, must be warned. There is no doubt that prior to the signing of the agreements with Cuba, those in charge of the Havana Zoo did not show the images of the facilities that the animals will soon inhabit to the Namibians who with good will are giving this gift to the Cuban people.

We must never allow that the new animals continue to be bruised from beatings to gain their obedience, as one of the lions in one of our pictures which shows scars from beatings on his face. Neither we must allow that the animals starve to death due to lack of food or that they contract diseases because of the lack of hygiene in the facilities they inhabit.

We want the animals in our country, no matter what habitat they live in, to become long lasting memories, instead of the sad images of lanky, hungry, thirsty, and ill animals.

Havana, Cuba more than being ready to receive new animals, must be ready to shout out loud to all people of goodwill: S. O. S. for the Zoo.