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Animal abuse or business wars? Europe's largest safari park closed in Crimea as owner warns he'll have to ‘KILL 30 BEARS'

Added 12-07-19 06:37:02pm EST - “A Crimean court has closed the Taigan Safari Park for 30 days after a complaint over expired feed being given to animals. In the raging media battle, the owner had warned the ruling was forcing him to put down 30 bears.” - Rt.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Rt.com: “Animal abuse or business wars? Europe’s largest safari park closed in Crimea as owner warns he’ll have to ‘KILL 30 BEARS’”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The park, famous for offering its visitors a petting zoo-like experience with apex predators, has long been a subject of controversy. Taigan has a large online following with plenty of supporters amid big cat fans, while at the same time animal lovers have been rooting for its shutdown over the alleged mishandling of the beasts. The park’s director Oleg Zubkov has faced a string of inspections and court hearings, and the latest could see Taigan being forced to shell out a hefty fine – or into a permanent shutdown.

“Taigan director [Zubkov] has been systematically giving expired feed to animals in violation of federal law,” says Crimea’s top veterinarian, Valery Ivanov. Now Zubkov, who had previously been fined for similar violations, has a month to set things straight.

The park owner blasted the ruling as biased and “far-fetched,” saying that carrion is exactly what most predators eat in their natural habitat. “If the meat that can’t be sold to humans anymore is being supplied to a zoo – it’s OK and the right thing to do. That’s how it should be. Predators don’t eat fresh meat only because they are predators,” Zubkov said.

Another hearing awaits Taigan later in December and it may well see the park closed for 90 more days. The authorities say the animals, which move about near visitors, are lacking the required microchips, veterinary passports and rabies vaccination. The park is denying all the accusations.

As the park business fully depends on ticket sales, Zubkov had earlier warned that even a temporary closure of his park would lead to catastrophic results.

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