Inspectors shut Rio zoo to smarten animal enclosures

January 14, 2016
National Institute of Environment personnel close Rio de Janeiro's Zoo on January 14, 2016 while staff carry out improvements to
National Institute of Environment personnel close Rio de Janeiro's Zoo on January 14, 2016 while staff carry out improvements to revitalize the park

Authorities shut the public zoo in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday until the city improves living conditions for the animals there, environmental officials said.

Visitors turning up to see the monkeys and parrots at the zoo in this year's summer Olympic Games host found the gates barred.

"It is not in a state to receive visitors," the state environmental institute Ibama said in a statement.

"The Rio zoo is not fulfilling its role of and is not promoting respect for animals."

The zoo, Brazil's oldest, is home to some 350 species.

It is run by the city hall, which is looking to privatize it.

Ibama said the zoo would be closed temporarily while staff carry out improvements.

"This include giving the animals sufficient food, in enclosures that are clean and environmentally improved."

City environmental authorities were last year fined the equivalent of about $263,000 for the bad state of the zoo, which had been drawing complaints since 2012.

Ibama official Vinicius Modesto de Oliveira told AFP the institute would be fining the city authorities $230 a day until it improves the zoo.

"For several years, Ibama has been asking the city authorities to meet certain requirements for improving conditions for the good of the animals," he said.

"The demands have not been met."

The city hall told AFP in an email that a planned tender for renovating the zoo had been suspended while authorities seek a private company to run the site.

Whoever buys the "will have to invest about 60 million reals ($15.7 million) to implement a two-year project in which the urgent work will be done in a short time," it said.

"The park will receive all the renovation and improvement work needed to meet current norms."

Explore further: Japan zoo recovers missing red panda after frantic search

Related Stories

German zoo shoots dead escaped orangutan

September 1, 2015

A German zoo said Tuesday its keepers had shot dead a panicked orangutan after it escaped its enclosure and threatened to run through city streets.

Rare white rhino dies in US

November 23, 2015

A northern white rhinoceros—one of just four remaining worldwide—has died at the San Diego Zoo, officials said.

US zoo names penguin chick 'Bowie'

January 12, 2016

A pygmy blue penguin born at a US zoo has been named "Bowie" in honor of British rock star David Bowie who died late Sunday.

Japan zoo takes on cockroach PR role

July 22, 2015

A Japanese zoo is trying to do the impossible—improve the image of cockroaches, putting on an exhibition of one of the world's most hated insects.

Recommended for you

Study shows how giraffe assassin bugs outwit spider prey

October 26, 2016

(—A biologist at Macquarie University in Australia has discovered the secret behind the giraffe assassin's ability to catch and kill spiders in their webs. In his paper published on the open access site Royal Society ...

New analysis of big data sheds light on cell functions

October 26, 2016

Researchers have developed a new way of obtaining useful information from big data in biology to better understand—and predict—what goes on inside a cell. Using genome-scale models, researchers were able to integrate ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.