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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Animals suffer at ugly zoo of Gyumri, Armenia

Gyumri,  is the second largest city in Armenia and the capital of the Shirak Province in the northwestern part of the country. Its name has been changed several times. It was originally founded as Kumayri, later re-founded as Alexandropol and more.  In Jan 2015, there was mass murder of seven members of the Armenian Avetisyan family in Gyumri, which put it on map of infamy.
photo credit : One India Tamil

Back home, the year 2016 was welcome with a new baby hippopotamus at Vandalur. According to the zoo officials, besides the new arrival, the zoo has three males and three females.  It is stated that the gender identification of the new born could take up to six months.  Most animals enjoy their stay at Vandalur – last month Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms J Jayalalithaa named four white tiger cubs born here.  She named two male tiger cubs Devaa and Nakulaa and two female cubs as Kalaa and Maalaa. The cubs were born to a white tigress, Namrutha.

Old timers would recall that the Zoo once stood at Moore Market complex and towards the end – animals looked sickly in small cages.  The shift to Vandalur though criticised those days as moving far out of the city was a good move, at least for the animals as they had bigger greener environ.  Not so for the few bears and lions starving at the World’s saddest zoo at Gyumri, after being abandoned by Armenian oligarch.

MailOnline reports that there was nothing for the inmates of the saddest zoo in the world to celebrate this New Year – just the passing of another year spent in hell. The planet's worst animal park is probably also its smallest. Just three lions, two bears and two guinea pigs live out their boring, hunger-filled days in tiny cages, displaying all the signs of creatures slowly being driven mad by their unnatural existence. They are the residue of a billionaire's whim, bought as entertainment by an Armenian oligarch to underwrite his ego and parade before his friends in themed jungle parties.

The animals are malnourished.  The zoo is in the Armenian town of Gyumri – the place where the family of Armenian-American superstar Kim Kardashian and her sister Khloe hails from –  has not seen a paying guest for over 2 years.  With their owner vanishing, the  animals scrape along on a starvation diet of slaughterhouse scraps and scavenged woodland plants brought to them by an elderly couple fighting hard to keep them alive.

The Kardashians were not taken on a trip to the zoo when they visited their ancestral home town in April 2015: it is not a proud sight. The ragged, hungry and bewildered tenants – lioness Mary, seven, and her cubs Geeta, four, and Zita, two, along with bears Masha, four, and Grisha, nine – are cared for by an elderly couple who simply stumbled upon them one day.  The civic authorities refuse to take on any responsibility for the animal and the whereabouts of their former owner is unknown.  It is left to a dirt-poor pair of pensioners named Hovhamnes and Alvina Madoyan  who look after the zoo now,  barely having enough money for themselves.     
Alvina is quoted as saying : 'I get up every morning and go into the woods to find food for the bears, but it is never enough.  'If I am lucky, some people donate some oats and cereal which we can make into a kind of porridge for them.  The animals are deeply unhappy, spending hours swaying to and fro, to and fro, because they have been slowly driven mad by their incarceration.

They endure in terrible conditions and with the chilly winter, they could be in for more difficult times.  Sorry to read about their plight ~ and back home some groups fight stating that the bulls of Jallikattu are treated cruelly.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

19th Jan 2016

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