Our friends at Animal Protection Society Samoa recently brought it to our attention that a Mr. Loyale has been granted a lease of 5 acres of land, along with permission by Samoan officials to launch the pacific island’s first zoo.
This is particularly concerning for many reasons. Firstly, Mr. Loyale is known to have had a previously failed venture involving performing circus animals, who are said to have died in a multitude of horrific ways following the closure of the touring act. Animals unsuited to the Samoan climate such as Lions, Ostriches, Llamas and Baboons were all shipped in for the act in 1997, which disbanded in 1999, with some of the animals reportedly just being “left behind” when the circus ‘left town’.
OUR LETTER to Samoan officials points out that husbandry and care of exotic wild animals requires highly skilled teams, and it is unlikely from his track record that Mr. Loyale is fit to put such teams in place for this new venture.
Secondly, we have grave concerns over the massive stress caused to each animal during their long, arduous transit to Samoa, which is extremely remote. The trip is likely to cause lasting physiological and psychological damage to each animal.
Also, if the zoo is allowed to go ahead and thrives as a business, new animals will ultimately always be required to be shipped there for breeding and re-stocking, not to mention the fact that opening such a facility in the first place sends a message to the ticket-buying Samoan and tourist public that it is morally acceptable to use animals for human entertainment.
You can read our letter, signed by 196 expert animal welfare organisations from around the world HERE.
How you can help
The Animal Protection Society of Samoa has started a petition, and had this to say on the issue:
“The Animal Protection Society runs the only veterinary clinic on the island and we believe strongly that this zoo must never be allowed to open. Animal welfare is a developing concept within Samoa and there is currently no legislation in place to protect the animals that will be imported. Samoa does not have the facilities or adequate veterinary care in place to care for exotic species. A large proportion of animals in Samoa do not receive any veterinary care and these plans show a lack of understanding as to what measures must be put in place to care for exotic species.”