Split ZOO finally closes

When the zoo was opened in 1926, it was a great sensation. Moms and grandchildren were taking children to see the unusual animals from distant continents, for the first time, the eyes of the old Split citizens watched the mandrils and other macaques, the aras, the tigers and the lions …. a total of about 55 different species.

During the Second World War, the administrative building was partially damaged, and by time, the situation in the zoo itself was worse. At the end, the Split zoo was overwhelmed by time and destroyed by indifference. The former pride of Split became a shame and embarrassment to which the foreign media also wrote. Small and dirty cages, stink, dirt, saddle wings of animals, illness, maybe starvation, the northern orientation of the zoo itself …. it has long been set to closing. And they all saw the agony and inhumane conditions in which the animals lived, all except our city mayor and councilors Kerum, Kuret and Puljic, and not to go further.

For years, individuals and organizations, including the Sunce, have been trying to encourage various ways, the city authorities to put animals elsewhere and close the garden, pointing to the inadmissible conditions in which animals are living. Numerous times we called the inspections, offered them help, suggested some new concepts of the zoo garden, but in vain. City authorities did not have any hearing for animal suffering, they dealt with more important things …

However, the awareness of the citizens of Split grew, and pressures came from all sides including the media, which ultimately triggered changes …

We have also been waiting for the day that the Split zoo closes and the animals are moving.

We therefore congratulate individuals, associations, journalists, local and national television companies, all those who have been working hard to close the zoo all these years. Of course, to the present city government and all the councilors, especially Mr. Velagić, a member of the Board of the Natural History Museum and the ZOO. This is the victory of a better, humane Split.

Zoos have always existed, ever since ancient Egypt, through medieval ages to the explosion of public zoo gardens in the 19th and 20th centuries. Their function changed and went from mass entertainment to education to make the zoo today converted into scientific research facilities and places of possible breeding and rescuing species from extinction.

Despite all this, we stand firmly in the view that “it is not possible to reasonably justify all the physical and psychological suffering that wildlife suffers when they are deprived of liberty and when they are separated from their natural habitats and communities”.

That is why we are inviting you to join us in the struggle for the recognition of the rights of animals that will treat them as creatures worthy of themselves, and not just human assets.