In spring "young life" lures large crowds into the zoo. In autumn, when things become quiet, death arrives.
The practices that no-one knows. By Bert Huisjes (Algemeen Dagblad Magazine, November 13, 1999 ; sub-headings renewed).
"I'll trade in anything"
Five pair of eyes blink into the light when the
door of the rusty horsetrailer swings open.
Complaints about chicken wandering around
free have directed inspectors of the AID
(Dutch governmental Animal Inspection Service)
to a house in Brummen, in the province of
Gelderland, on a day in August. In the back
yard an unexpected find is made in the trailer:
in a cage made from concrete slabs, five
adult baboons (Papio hamadryas, Lat.) crawl
together in fear. "The smell was beyond
words", inspector Jan Reijngoud says.
"The animals must have been inside
there for months. There was a huge layer
of shit, they hung in the fence to try and
stay dry. One female monkey had only a small
stump of her tail left. Another monkey had
grown crooked, as if it had been living
in too small a cage for years on. A third
monkey had its guts hanging out. Their only
access to water was a bowl outside the cage
that they could grab for". Owner of
the baboons is 34 years old Bernard E.,
a merchant. "I'll trade in anything",
he explains. "Scrap iron, rafters,
animals. Look here, I had five hundred geese,
the other guy had five baboons. Seemed like
a good deal to me". According to him
the monkeys came from Belgium and had only
been kept in the cage for a few days yet.
"They were only here for a short while
for a film shot". To the managing director
of the AAP Foundation David van Gennep they are
the hundred-somethingth guests. "Film
shots", he sneers. "Those baboons
were much too frightened and agressive.
They have been dumped, probably come from
a zoo and consequently ended up in the rag-and-bone business".
Dutch zoos are keeping a secret
They breed animals, but regularly don't have enough space for them. The "young
life in the zoo" that attracts millions of parents
and children every year and often brings the gardens
extensive media exposure, is hard to get rid of. Even
in zoos animals are born of which it is known in advance
that there'll be no room for them. Such animals are
called "the overspill". What is prohibited
in Germany, happens in almost every Dutch zoo: protected
animals, young as well as old ones, are being put to
sleep if the zoo cannot find a place for them elsewhere.
Monkeys, felines, bears, antelopes -species sometimes
of endangered wildlife- await a bullet or a deadly injection.
What can be eaten, is being fed to the predators. Next
to that, both living as well as dead animals disappear
into the trade circuit. Or they are being dumped, far
away, in zoological gardens in Sofia, Caïro and
the Ukraine; they never seem to become overcrowded.
It is the different reality in gardens where, for the
public, bears are being called sweet names such as Vetje
"little fat-one" or Oogje "little eye",
while behind the scenes cheetahs disappear (Dierenpark
Amersfoort). Animals have "little babies",
as cheerful leaflets put it, and polarbear cubs are
called Taco and Winner, but nobody gets to hear that
young monkeys are being sold to Czechia or Poland (Diergaarde
Blijdorp, Rotterdam). In the annual report it is called
"memorable that the spider monkeys have babies",
but the public is not made aware that due to "overpopulation"
white-snout nosebears end up in the freezer (Noorder
What choices after all does a zoological garden have with redundant animals?
"Yes, that's a major problem", says zoobroker or merchant
in zoo-animals John Hop from Ermelo. "Male animals
f.i. are in a delicate position anyhow. As soon as they
grow older they menace the group. Many animals live
in groups with one male. But just as many males as females
are born. What that means? Dont't ask me". A veterinary
surgeon who works for large zoo, anonimously, says:
"That can mean you send a bullet through their
head, in order to be able to feed them to the predators
because after putting them to sleep, you can't. It is
still a taboo. If it concerns monkeys, bears or lions
emotion turns up as a factor. It is pitiful than. But
people do eat meat themselves, that's hypocrisy".
Officially everything is under control. The eleven major
zoo's have united in the Dutch Union of Zoos (NVD).
They take a pride in the fact that they meet the high
demands regarding housing and medical care as well as
education for the public. Euthanasia is extremely exceptional
and only takes place with seriously ill or old animals.
The fate of animals is even so important that the zoos
state they are no longer in business with merchants.
Instead they try to exchange animals through a network
of 250 "improved" European gardens (EAZA).
It is a remarkable breach, the one with the zoobrokers.
During tenths of years they were the solid business
partners of every park. The broker supplied the animals.
In autumn he came and collected all the overspill. On
German television a 1995 program by journalist Stephan
Eckhart showed this practice for the very first time.
Young bears and tigers were being collected from respected
zoos. In order to meet the prohibition on killing them
in Germany itself, they were transported to Belgium.
A secret camera recorded how the animals were shot dead
at a knackery. This practice still continues. Dutch
zoos too have historical bonds with skinners. "There
were bad experiences", managing director A. Dorresteyn
of Blijdorp explains the turning down of brokers. "Animals
went to different destinations than was agreed upon".
That way a young rhino of the Safaripark Beekse Bergen
(Hilvarenbeek) vanished after having been deported to
Spain by a zoobroker. "The animal was later discovered
in a circus, where it trotted about with a partyhat
on", says safaripark director Wim Verberkmoes.
But what happens now than with the overspill? "A
good zoo has hardly any overspill", says Koen Brouwer
who is employed with the NVD bureau (Dutch Union of
Zoos) and the European zoo-network EAZA, with its residence
in Amsterdam. "Animals get the pill by way of contraception,
or one separates the males and females. With birds you
can shake the eggs. Furthermore European zoos have an
increasing number of breeding programmes. In pedigree-books
it is registered how many animals of a species exist
within the gardens and which animals can be allowed
to have offspring. In that way redundancy and breeding-in
are being prevented and we don't have to lend on merchants
or capture animals from wildlife". But that is what zoos dream about.
To the taxidermist (skinner) and questionable zoos
Animal attendant Ria is willing to talk, but without making mention of her name.
"Everybody has nasty experiences, but to talk about
it is not done, than you're out of it. It is a beautiful
profession, and for each attendant ten others are waiting".
She tells about two old bears, shop servants. Noorder
Dierenpark made its apologies for some time: the animals
could not be removed from their old den for that would
mean their death. "Later a sign was put up that
said they'd been taken into some breeding programme
elsewhere. In fact they went to the skinner".
Another example: the tiger that was moved on to an other
zoo. Some months later the exposition-hall of the zoo
was brightened up with a - stuffed - tiger. Ria: "It
was the same animal ! They'd had her killed. You hear
nice stories and you want to believe them, but they're
lies". During the conversation she is gravely worried
about a panther, Sherl, who is about to be euthanised.
Ria is not the only animal attendant who speaks shame
upon it. "Redundant animals, whether young or animals
too old to breed with, are being killed. Usually in
september when the season is over and fewer visitors
come", is the opinion of old hands from Artis,
Blijdorp and Noorder Dierenpark.
Also they call it 'horrible' that animals are being
sent to 'saddening' zoos. F.e. Artis gave a group of
bears to the Dubai zoo, whereupon a very much wanted
sloth-bear came to Amsterdam. "Out there they do
performances with dressed-up chimpanzees. Only four
of the bears are still present. Where is the rest of
Theo van Hilst of Wolvenopvang Nederland (wolves
asylum) is an outsider, but also wrinkles his
eyebrows now and again. Burgers Zoo in Arnhem
kept a population of eleven wolves for many years.
"A protected animal" he says. But
all of a sudden six of them had gone. They had
not been moved to an other zoo, they had vanished.
We asked after them, but the reaction was "What
concern is it to you! Those animals have been
Arno van de Valk of the Pantera Foundation, sheltering tigers, lions and bears on
a farm in the Dutch province of Friesland, says: "Eighty
percent of our animals was born in zoos. Often they
have first lived in a circus or nightclub". The
remarkable thing is, he says, that in his shelter only
foreign animals are being kept. "They come from
Germany, Belgium and France. But Dutch zoos don't bring
any animals, because dumped lions generate bad publicity.
Such animals are being exposed of in silence".
Van Gennep, of the AAP Foundation: Overspill is a European
problem. "Some animals from zoos -the rare ones-
are worth a fortune. But many of them are impossible
to sell anywhere. Such as the baboons, a yearly twenty
to thirty of which are being born in the Noorder Dierenpark.
For brown bears or lions also no-one is waiting. Lately
it is mainly the felines -lynxes, ocelots, panthers,
pumas- that are hard to find a place for, at least with
zoos. For a mara (Dolichotis patagonum), a super guinea-pig
from Patagonia, they spare themselves even the effort.
Sometimes a certain animal species comes out of fashion
The popularity of each animal species can be clearly read from the long list
with overspill and the wishes that the EAZA-zoos send
each other. It is a confidential list, eagerly wanted
by merchants, by means of which zoos try to promote
exchanges. The summing up of animals that gardens want
to get rid of is enormous. Gerard Baars, director of
Ouwehands Dierenpark in Rhenen: "Sometimes you
have them listed that way for years on, and never get
any reaction". Obvious causes for the surplusses
can by the way be pointed at. "Zoos want larger
groups of one species", says broker Hop. "That
means other species are being cleared away. Moreover
animals get out of fashion. People by now know the bear,
chimpanzee or Java-monkey". And next to that there
are the breeding programmes (EEP's). To participate
in them means status. So zoos replace non-thoroughbred
animals by true-bred ones. The non-thoroughbred disappear
to smaller gardens, to Africa and Eastern European countries,
or to merchants who think it'll pay, dead or alive.
"And if replacing redundant animals takes too much
money, they are being euthanised. They go for the cheapest
solution", says Hop. "Many zoos have a hard time making both ends meet".
The number of hybrids (bastards) and inbred-animals in the European
zoos is enormous. Even cross-breeding of lions and tigers
occurs: the ligers. In many cases the zoo-variant genetically
only has a whimp of its wild congener. Dorresteyn of
Blijdorp zoo: "Through decades breeding was done
at random. If a couple could have offspring, is was
allright. So you see bastards of Siberian and Sumatran
tigers, of Sumatran orang-oetans mixed with the ones
from Borneo. At present the zoos let them extinguish".
Amongst the bastards specifically giraffes, zebra's
and lions are the meltingpots of species and underspecies
that no-one is waiting for. Yet 'ashtray-lions' are
still being born, in Burgers Zoo for instance. "We've
been looking for years already if we can get rid of
the lion troupe", zoo manager Joep Wensing says.
"Impopular species we'd like to loose".
It is the dilemma of the modern Zoo
The zoological gardens claim to strive
for the maintenance of animal species, for that reason
the breeding programmes exist. It is a "Noah's
Arc" plan: when a species is about to extinguish
in the wild, still some of them are being kept in the
zoo and may be can be placed back in the wilderness
someday. Therefore it is tried to establish animals
that genetically look a lot like their congeners in
wildlife. Placing such animals back into real nature
is by the way no easy job: many projects woefully fail.
The noble motivations on the other hand also result
in high numbers of protected animals, such as tigers,
becoming redundant due to the fact that they are not
pure-bred. The largest gardens meanwhile brought back
the number of bastards to a minimum, by way of export
and euthanasia. Other gardens are still filled up with
them. The vet: "A liger is the best example, that
is a monster of nature. But our raccoons are also crap
genetically, theirs is a dying story. Killing them is
not yet necessary, the room they occupy is not yet needed
to house other animals. But in fact you leave them there
in the interest of the attendants who are emotionally tied up with them".
A good lion is a dead lion
A great many zoos by the way actively breed raccoons.
Merchants can easily place them: common people have
discovered the animal. In terms of business a good lion
is ever so often a dead lion. Also a dead tiger or bear
raises more money than a living one. In Belgium specialised
buyers of zoo-animals are active, who collect the animals
from all over Europe. In Liège the "warehouse"
of Jean-Pierre Gerard is based. In a barak on the outskirt
of the town he shoots lions, tigers, bears and antelopes.
For their fur, their meat or their heads. Bear meat
is a delicacy in Eastern Germany, impala sells well
within luxurious catering. The animals are being skinned,
their skins sold. To Holland amongst other countries,
f.e. the company of Jacques Boute in Venlo where animal
heads are being stuffed and their skins serve as floormats.
The skins come with a statement that the animal was
born in a zoo. Another address like this is that of
one of the biggest merchants Louis Lenaerts in Wortel,
just across the Belgian border, a couple of kilometres
from Breda. Lenaerts is one of the main merchants. In
case he can sell an animal, or in case he sees opportunities
to breed with it, it stays alive. If not, the creature
gets a bullet (small calibre, in order to avoid too
much damage to the skin). The skins he sells. A stuffed
lion? "That can be arranged. For five thousand
guilders (€ 2.250)". Lenaerts used to buy animals
from Dutch zoos many years on. But since it is supposed
that he was the main character in the German television
documentary ("Some people have recognized him"
a managing director of a zoo says), directors have become
reluctant to do business with him. Also with small Belgian
zoos like Olmense Zoo and St. Niklaas, where Lenaerts
used to lodge his animals, no official contacts exist
anymore. Nevertheless Lenaerts whereabouts are not illegal.
Only once the ministry of Justice was able to put a
claim against him. That was in recent years, when he
slaughtered four young tigers. On that crucial moment
there was a police raid on his premises. He was fined;
Lenaerts had no permit to slaughter.
Objective of merchants like Lenaerts >is money, much money
To what extent the trade in overspill bears and tigers is
financially interesting, is known to Tom de Meulenaar
of Traffic Europe, TE being the bureau that tries to register
the trade in exotic animals. "Overspill is a business
on its own. The largest part of the market is formed by
the derived products. Skins, bones, organs. Skins go to
taxidermists, carcasses to China or Taiwan to become ingredients
in traditional medicine. Fortunes are being paid for these animal parts".
Tigerbones do an average 1500 dollars pro kilogram on
the worldmarket. Per gram bear gall is worth more than
cocaïne. The World Wildlife Fund calculated that
a tiger provides for one million guilders worth of products.
AID-inspector Reijngoud corrects: "An amount of 250.000
guilders is more realistic". A lion is less interesting,
but still provides for a nice amount of money. Taxidermist
Boute: "I buy the skins for some 3.000 guilders each.
As a carpet and with a linen bottomlayer, I ask 5.000.
Stuffed, in any preferred position, an animal costs 9.500
guilders". Three lions, two bears and a tiger - skins
with heads - gaze at the visitor from the shops counter.
Next to them a dead lion with curled forepaws is sitting.
"Animals from zoölogical gardens", Boute says.
CITES: international rules for endangered animal species
The section of the Ministery of Agriculture is situated opposite Dordrecht's Central Station.
Here the bureau resides that controls the performance
of the Cites-treaty, a number of international rules
against the eradication of endangered animals and plants.
A small team closely watches the trade. The officers
screen every permit application by means of lists. List
# 1 mentions the animals that are so highly endangered
that no trade in them is allowed and also they are not
allowed to be kept. The list contains all tigers, a
great number of monkeys, lynxes, antelopes, birds and
amphibians. On the second list animals are mentioned
for which trade is allowed in a very limited way only:
wolves, foxes, antelopes, bisons but also monkeys, birds
and the ant eater. The zoos in Holland are in an extraordinary
position. Members of the NVD receive a "general
exempt" for the keeping and breeding of endangered
animals. In exchange they must yearly report how many
animals they keep. But it turns out to be a simple bookkeeping
at the Ministery. Reports are incomplete or lacking.
Some gardens did report for a while after receiving
their eagerly awaited permit, but concerning the past
few years there is nothing (Apenheul in Apeldoorn, Noorder
Dierenpark). Diergaarde Blijdorp, a zoo that receives
an annual nine million guilders worth of government
payments, has not even once in all those years stated
its responsibilities on the number of endangered animals
inside its zoo. And this whereas at the same time Blijdorp
together with the Noorder Dierenpark, requires the largest
number of exportlicenses compared to all other zoos.
Other zoos never seem to need permits; Dierenpark Amersfoort
only applies for them when it delivers dead animals
to the trade. To take a view on the list of import and
export licenses dating back before 1997, is "technically
impossible". A new computersystem caused that all
the older data cannot be read anymore. An employee of
the Cites-bureau raises his shoulders; checking up on
zoölogical gardens has no priority, the bureau
receives 13.000 applications every year.
Was it not possible to have a better supervision?
That question rises after a dive
in the papers that are still present. On the 10th of
December 1998 Burgers Zoo requests for a permit for
the exportation of eleven chimpanzees. That is odd.
The annual report namely states that no single chimp
has been exported. Upon checking the permit, it turns
out that the destination was the Laboratory of the University
of Zürich (Switzerland): ten dead chimpanzeebodies
and one foetus. Purpose: science. According to Burgers
Zoo the animals are destined for genetical research.
Within short a new application will follow, this time
for fourteen chimps. Burgers Zoo is not the only garden
that delivers to science. In 1994 six rare Goeldi-monkeys,
alive this time, went on transport from Apenheul to
the primates centre that is related to the same university,
director L. de Boer of Apenheul says. "Not for
biomedical tests, but for behavioural research".
One more randomly chosen example. Last year Blijdorp
three times applied for a permit for the exportation
of each time five Pinché or Liszt-monkeys (Oedipomidas
oedipus) to Poland and Czechia. "Permit 10593"
shows that, true, the animals were sent to the zoo of
Pilzen, but the purpose of the delivery was quite different.
Purpose: trade, it says. So trade it is. Blijdorp also
supplies to private collectons. For example to the collection
of animals of an oil sheik in the U.A.E. He'll be sent
a very very rare Arabic oryx: a snowwhite antelope,
a species extinguished in wildlife in the early '70s
of the previous century. This sale does not concern
a re-introduction project, as is the present case in Oman.
The sheik now has four of them on his estate. These
animals by the way are indeed registered with an important
databank, ISIS, that keeps track of collections of rare
Although for the sake of conservation of nature zoos
do not acquire animals from the wilderness, a clever
garden knows more than one trick. In 1998 Apenheul wanted
to have very rare bonobo-apes. Only a hundred of them
live in captivity, and no garden that owns them wants
to let them go. Prices for bonobos therefore go up to
a million Dutch guilders each (€ 454.000.-). Therefore
his "happiness" was great when managing director
L. de Boer could get hold of six laboratory animals
(three pair of them) in Zaïre, stemming from a
"biomedical" research institute in Kinshasa.
Laboratory animals that were to have a new life in Apeldoorn,
could anything be better? But: is the Apenheul zoo a
saviour now, or does this show a U-turn construction
in order to lay hands on wild catch? The permit is slightly
revealing. Under "source" it says "W",
which means: all animals have been collected from the
wild by merchants. It is an old tric. Years ago in this
way Burgers Zoo "rescued" seven gorillas originating
from Cameroun from the hands of a merchant. The transaction
had a value of a quarter of a million guilders. International
criticism followed. "They did come from a shady
background", Burgers Zoo admits. "We were
asked for shelter and are quite pleased with them".
Another transaction like this by a Dutch garden, concerning
the most endangered primate in the world (the tiny Golden
Lion monkey) of whose species less than only four hundred
still remain in the wilderness. Via "Apenheul"
six of them disappear from the ISIS worlddatabank in
1998, when the garden delivers three times two of these
little monkeys to small zoos in Czechia. That country,
like other eastern European countries, is famous with
merchants for the fact that all of its animals are for
sale and zoos hardly keep any registration, with the
exception of the Zoo in Prague, that keeps only one
of these little apes.
"All six of the animals are still there. I telephoned
this morning", De Boer of Apenheul reassures. That
this is impossible because two of the animals did not
survive the transport ("2 animals dead on arrival"
the permit says), is something he cannot apprehend.
"I really did call". "Those apes are so much in demand and valuable that Czechia is no likely
destination. The best gardens would have loved to have
them", a foreign merchant says. He laughs about
the export of a group of eight apes, Japanese "Macaca
irus" to the Ukraïne, this time by Burgers
Zoo. "No one wants them. Can't think of a reason
for such an expensive transport, except dumping. That
is why animals also go to Sofia in Bulgaria, or to Caïro;
those gardens are never overcrowded". The exportregistration
proves that the former Eastern bloc countries are a
very popular destination for many gardens. The vet surgeon:
"It is a choice. Of course the housing circumstances
are worse in a country like that, but the people over
there are also doing worse".
It does not occur, the official statements say. Only in the case of old animals,
or disease. Nevertheless in the paperwork you stumble
over amazing cases of death; is it really no worse than
"shaking eggs"? The very much endangered "mane
wolf" (Chrysocyon brachyurus) in Blijdorp gives birth
to six cubs, but the entire nest dies according to the
annual report (1998). In the Noorder Dierenpark the "springbokken"
(Antidorcas marsupialis) have seventeen foals, all of
them die. And that the midget goat is not a protected
animal, is for a fact. Thirty three of them are being
liquidated. Appetizing menu for the predators, Noorder
Dierenpark admits. In Beekse Bergen, another large zoo,
into the troupe of fifteen lions six cubs are born in
1997. No one survives. In Dierenpark Amersfoort a cheetah,
famous for the high speeds it can develop once on the
loose, whelps a nest of six young. The young will never
reach any speed, they die, and so do two adult cheetahs.
The "deathlist" of the park helps out: five
male and one female DESTROYED, it says. One animal is
missing in the administration, which is a common experience
with all parks. On the deathlist of the Noorder Dierenpark
it is easy to see how in 1995 a group of seven white-snout
nosebears (belonging to the family of the "coati's")
head for Bear Heaven. On January 25, three of them are
put into the freezer. On February 22 and April 20 the
rest of them follow. Cases of death caused by overpopulation,
the park says afterwards. On the long list, every month
some fifteen animals are booked out. The list also describes
lemurs: they watch eight colleagues being chilled till
under zero degrees centigrade. And the wolves that Theo
van Hilst worried about, show up too. Burgers Zoo counts
six dead bodies in 1995, three of them have been taxidermied
(stuffed) and the head of another one is a wall-ornament nowadays.
A zoo animal's life is in danger, that is for sure. And
EAZA's demand that the causes of deaths have to be reported,
is not met by any zoo. Much effort is being done in order
to save animals from extinction, that is what the Cites-regulation
is about. But a condition is that such animals originate
from wildlife. If born in a zoo, even the most endangered
species can become objects of trade. Inside Europe a certificate
is required for List-1 animals; for List-2 animals all
trade is free. Outside Europe a little more documents
are required, but in the presence of a statement that
says an animal is "captive born", nothing stands
in the way of trade. Cites is clearly only intended to
reduce trade. Whoever wants to have an endangered animal
stuffed, is free to do so.
Traffic Europe, the organisation that maps
the trade in endangered animals, is worried about the
fate of zoo animals. Director Tom de Meulenaar says in
his Brussels headquarters: "there is a gigantic
hole in the law. Controls are being made on animals
that come from wildlife, but in the case of breeding in
captivity the regulations are a flop. That leads to fraud
of course, because you can misuse a zoo animal in order
to "launder" a wild one. You make sure the animal
from the zoo's collection disappears, and transfer its
documents to a wild one. Such an animal stemming from
wildlife has intensely desired genetical material to breed
with, and it can become an object of trade without any
limit". Someone who registers an animal with such
genes with the EEP-register, gets a very warm welcome.
Also old or ugly looking animals or the ones of the wrong
sex or mongrels, can relatively simple change into animals
of better quality. Even identification chips are no problem.
They are taken from dead animals, and administered to
wild ones. Directors of zoölogical gardens admit
that the trade of wildlife involves much money. "It
is a billion business", Dorresteyn of Blijdorp says.
"When a merchant offers 50.000 dollar to a garden
in the former East bloc, resistance is hardly possible.
Over there, that's a fortune só big a garden can
be in business a whole year on such an income". Gerard
Baars, Ouwehands Dierenpark, already even signalizes trade
traffic in forgeries of almost extinct species. "We
notice that a merchant buys animals from European zoos
who ressemble the Amur-panther. Only a couple of tens
of this panther are still alive in the wild. The are being
shipped to North Korea, transformed, and supplied with
a certificate of origine. After that they are being re-offered
for sale for large sums". In the Netherlands most
brokers and merchants are still fully in business. John
Hop claims to render services to numerous animal gardens.
"At Ouwehands I collected bears. They went to Lenaerts".
Hop also knows about the bears that worried animal attendant
Ria mentioned. "They too have gone to Lenaerts".
The managing director of Noorder Dierenpark, Henk Hiddingh,
says: "The bears have been collected by Lenaerts,
that is right, but they were supposed to go to a Belgian
zoo. No, no highly qualified garden, I have to admit".
The managing director of Artis, Th. Frankenhuis,
made headlines some time ago when he suggested there are
two good reasons to have tigers give birth in zoos. Reason
one: it's fun to have cubs. Reason two: the cubs can subsequently
be sold in parts and pieces to the Chinese
pharmaceutical industry, which would spare the lives of
tigers living in the wild. Although Frankenhuis drew a
storm on his head, his remarks are characteristic for
a change in thoughts on this subject. More and more zoos
tend to the policy of having their animals give birth,
in order to : kill the offspring some time later. Gerard
Baars of Ouwehands: "It is not the rule yet. But
in Denmark it is daily practice. I dare to openly defend
it". Hiddingh of Noorder Dierenpark: "Frankenhuis
uttered matters a bit wild. But in principle the idea
is a good one. We must explain to the public that death
is a part of zoo life, that anything is better than the
trade in animals or some slum park". The veterinary
surgeon: "The gardens must be open. No secrets. Just
explain things in the daily children's-news-broadcasts".
The AID (Governmental Inspection Service on animals) is not fond of the idea.
"Your feeling says: this cannot be done. Yet there
is nothing we can do against it. The rules do not forbid
it", inspector Reijngoud says. Frankenhuis himself
is reluctant to gather publicity once more. The sponsors
who have adopted animals in Artis, were out of their wits
when they heard his suggestions. "Holland is not
ready for it yet", he now says. "In the United
States meanwhile the public even forbids zoos to feed
living mice and crickets. There is an enormous discrepancy
between what people do themselves and what they consider
can be allowed. In wholesale you come across as many as
five kinds of antelope steaks and crocodile tails. That is tasty, that is chic".
Outside the reception centre of the AAP
Foundation in Almere is a small brick building. Inside
five baboons are kept in quarantine for weeks already
now. "A miserable bunch", director David van
Gennep mutters. "The one with the tongue hanging
from its mouth is mentally handicapped. That other one
is pigeon-breasted, never seen it so bad". He sighs.
"This does not look good". Where the apes came
from, is not yet clear than. According to Van Gennep animals
like these will continue to pop up as long as there is
no solid registration for every individual animal. "I
plead for animal accountancy. Isn't it horrible when animals
that were a zoo's main attraction in spring, are kept
in a Russian laboratory with electrode equipment on their
heads a year later"? A week later the missing data
are available. It is almost certain that the apes come
from Belgium. "We received Lenaerts' name".
The worst news comes with the results of the health tests.
"One animal was tested positive on Herpes-B, the
others are questionable. Someone who is being spat upon
by an ape in that condition, wil inevitably die, that
disease proces is irreversible". Bernard E. ran a
high risk. What will happen with the animals, still remains
a question. "We have to think deeply about their
future. Maybe we should kill them. An animal who is infected
with Herpes is highly dangerous".
Animal attendant Ria calls, fully upset: "They have
killed Sherl, the panther! They've injected him!"
The animal has been put down, Noorder Dierenpark confirms.
"It was a hybrid, there was no market for it".
"My God, what a bunch of dirt!", an emotional
Van der Valk of the animal reception centre Pantera -
30 miles away - says. "We've got room, and they knew it".
See also "Protected animals in The Netherlands not sure of their lives".