Bye Buenos Aires Zoo, hello Eco-Park

The 142 years old zoo will be closed and an eco-park will replace it, announced City Mayor Horacio Rodriguez. 

Buenos Aires City Mayor, Horacio Rodriguez, announced the city's zoo, located in Palermo, will be closed and transformed into an "interactive eco-park." The decision was made following other big cities trend and after the zoo suffered the loss of a baby giraffe and two sea lions in 2015.

The zoo was created in 1874 and still today maintains its Victorian architecture and hosts 1,500 animals. It counts with 18 hectares in the city centre and its 52 buildings were designed to recreate the architecture of the animal's place of origin. They're now considered as historic monuments.

Rodriguez announcement means the animals will be transported to natural reserves and sanctuaries around the country.

“We can’t keep animals in these conditions anymore,” said Rodríguez. “Animals need to be living in their habitat, not amongst buildings.”

Animal's exhibition will be progressively shut down. The animals who cannot be transferred to other installations will be living in the Eco park, but their living conditions will be updated to ensure their life quality.

The new park will be a entertaining space for children and families and will count with a place for the rehabilitation and liberation of animals in transit, including those rescued from illegal traffic. 

On 1st August the government will launch a call for ideas for what to include in this new eco park, giving local residents the chance to participate. The idea is to transform the zoo's installations into interactive spaces aiming to give environmental education.

The future of the zoo had been long debated. Its license to expire in 2017 was subject of speculation in recent months with two proposals being presented in the city legislature.

But the city government decided to revoke the contract with Jardin Zoologico de Buenos Aires S.A. Its workers will become art of the transformation process and become employed by the State.

The space will be closed for some days but it is expected to open during the winter vacations. 

 

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