7 September 2017

South Africa: Joburg Zoo Reinstated as African Association of Zoos and Aquaria Member

The Johannesburg Zoo has been reinstated as a member of the African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (Paazab), the City of Johannesburg said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Jenny Moodley said the zoo's regional Paazab membership would allow it to continue being an international member of good standing of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Waza).

Moodley said the reinstatement reaffirmed the City's commitment to regulate and improve its professional standards and commitment to the code of ethics.

Some commitments included the trade and movement of animals and plants, which must conform to international conventions and best practices, and abide by national and local regulations.

Animal husbandry would ensure the highest standard of veterinary care and housing, and ensure that all animals had adequate space and proper facilities.

It would also make sure that animals did not suffer from hunger, inclement weather, injury or disease, fear and other forms of distress.

Other commitments included breeding programmes and processes aligned to the international conventions, public safety of visitors, and enforcement of the code.

Zoo hoping to grow number of species

In 2014, Paazab suspended the zoo's accreditation for 12 months following the death of eight rare sitatunga antelope.

The antelope arrived in South Africa from a zoo in the Czech Republic without the necessary clearance certificates.

They were later put down because they were injured, dehydrated and traumatised.

At the time, the zoo's accreditation to Waza had also been suspended.

The suspensions meant that the zoo was unable to negotiate the transfer of animals from other zoos.

On Thursday, Moodley said the reinstatement would enable the zoo to conclude long-standing agreements to obtain new animals and big exhibits from other zoos that are members of Waza.

She said it would also allow the zoo to grow its offering to the people of Johannesburg.

Mayoral committee member for community development Nonhlanhla Sifumba said she was delighted that the zoo had been reinstated as a Paazab member.

"I believe now, as I believed then, that the accreditation will allow the zoo to offer more species to the residents and the rest of the people who visit Joburg," Sifumba said.

Source: News24

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