RIO DE JANEIRO – Environmental authorities in Brazil have closed the Rio de Janeiro municipal zoo due to animal overcrowding, faulty hygiene and overall poor conditions.
The temporary closure was ordered by the Ibama agency, which also levied a 1,000 reais ($250) per day fine on the municipality until it rectifies the problems plaguing Brazil’s oldest zoo.
The zoo “does not fulfill its role in environmental education and it does not promote respect for animals,” Ibama inspector Vinicius Modesto de Oliveira said in a statement.
Ibama said it would lift the suspension if the zoo took the necessary steps, such as providing animals with adequate food and keeping them in clean spaces tailored for individual species.
Brazilian federal prosecutors have asked the courts to order municipal authorities to undertake needed renovations to the zoo facilities.
The Rio de Janeiro Zoo was established in 1888, and has been in its current location at Quinta da Boa Vista park since 1945, with a substantial remodeling in 1993.