If you were hungry enough, would you kill and eat zoo animals?
To most of us such a notion sounds absolutely insane, but this is actually happening in Venezuela right now. This is a country where people are standing in lines for up to 12 hours hoping that there will be food to buy that day, and where rioting and looting have become commonplace.
At least 50 animals have died in the last six months at the Caricuao zoo in Caracas, Venezuela, due to widespread food shortages that are affecting both man and beast in the socialist nation.
Marlene Sifontes, a union leader for employees of state parks agency Inparques which oversees zoos, told Reuters that the zoo lost Vietnamese pigs, tapirs, rabbits and birds after the animals went weeks without eating. Others animals at the zoo are in danger of severe malnutrition. Lions and tigers, which should be on a carnivorous diet, are being fed mango and pumpkin just to get something in their empty stomachs, while an elephant is being fed tropical fruit instead of its usual diet of hay, the union leader said. According to one report, the big cats are being fed slaughtered thoroughbred racehorses from a nearby race track.
With each passing week, the situation in Venezuela keeps on getting worse.
Venezuela’s cash could run out ‘within a year’
The country’s central bank only has $11.9 billion in reserves, down sharply from $30 billion in 2011. A few large debt payments are coming due soon. Starting in October, Venezuela owes a total of $4.7 billion in a series of payments.
Venezuela is in the midst of a deep economic, political and humanitarian crisis. Its citizens are suffering from massive food shortages and hospitals lack basic medicine and equipment. Experts say Venezuela has prioritized paying the debt over dealing with the shortages.
Venezuela government could force people to work on farms
- United States (260,000),
- Panama (240,000),
- Spain (200,000),
- Italy (150,000), and
- Portugal (100,000).