LIMA – Lima’s Legends Park zoo slaughtered some of its animals to feed others when food was scarce, Peruvian media reported Monday.
An internal zoo document, disclosed Sunday by the television news program “Cuarto Poder,” confirmed the slaughter of beasts in May and June to provide 433 kilos (953 pounds) of meat to feed other animals.
Sheep, goats, geese and deer were killed, along with a buffalo, according to documents cited in media accounts.
A previous report had raised the alarm about a food shortage at the zoo and requested assistance to prevent health problems among the animals.
The documents contradict Lima Mayor Luis Castañeda’s statement last week that the zoo’s residents “are fat and beautiful.”
Legends Park director Marco Villalobos denied on television that the zoo has any trouble with food and said the reports were aimed at discrediting him.
Early in July, however, Peru’s National Forest and Wildlife Service, known as Serfor, denounced shortages of food at the facility.
Serfor said that during a visit to the zoo in June, its personnel observed signs of malnutrition among sea lions and heard complaints from zoo employees about the underfeeding of penguins, seals and big cats.