The National Council of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) said on Friday it has grave concerns surrounding the reasons for the euthanasia of the female bear at the East London Zoo earlier this week.
It was brought to light that the bear had become paralysed in the hind legs and the decision was made to euthanase her. It is unclear how long she had been suffering for.
“We have issued a number of warnings to the East London Zoo with regards to the general condition of the bears in the past and we remain gravely concerned for all the animals kept at this zoo‚ we are particularly concerned for the remaining bear who has now lost her companion‚” said National Inspector Martie Rossouw‚ Manager of the Wildlife Protection Unit.
The NSPCA said it will investigate the circumstances surrounding the deterioration and euthanasia of the bear and take the necessary action.
The Daily Dispatch reported that the bear‚ named Jenny‚ was 35 years old. The remaining bear‚ Gina‚ has lived in a pit enclosure with her mother Jenny for more than 30 years‚ it said.
The condition of animals at the zoo has been placed in the spotlight by AlgoaFM DJ Daron Mann and Ukraine-based bear expert Lionel de Lange‚ according to the newspaper.
De Lange voiced concern about the surviving bear. “She is going to stress if she’s got nothing to do but stare at a brick wall‚” De Lange told the Dispatch.
The newspaper said De Lange’s offers to cover the costs of a new bear enclosure have yet to be taken up by the municipality.