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Casimiro the lion has now, after years in captivity and after severe negligence, died in the Guariche zoo in Venezuela.

Over a period of weeks, Casimiro's health deteriorated, allegedly due to a degenerative disease. According to reports, the lion had been evaluated by several veterinarians, but very little seems to have been done to improve his health condition.

Casimiro should not have been left to die on the concrete floor of a zoo cage.

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Letter to
Maturin Direccion General
Presidente Hugo Chávez , Dirección General de Gestión Comunicacional
Maturin City Hall Private Secretary
I would like to express my utter indignation over the deplorable state of the death of Casimiro, a lion that had, for the past years, been held captive in the Animal Park of Guariche, Monagas. Casimiro allegedly died from a degenerative disease, although this has been disputed by several statements. Pictures taken of Casimiro prior to his death show a very ill and neglected lion lying on a concrete floor, visibly suffering – it is indisputable that he should have been hospitalized for proper medical treatment. I am dismayed that better care had not been provided to alleviate the suffering of this lion. Casimiro should not have been allowed to die under such horrible conditions in a zoo cage. I am also deeply concerned over the well-being of the remaining animals in this park.

First and most importantly, I politely ask for the immediate closure of the Animal Park of Guariche, for the maltreatment and neglect of Casimiro. From what I understand, other zoos in Venezuela do not maintain a significantly better standard in regards to the welfare of animals. I strongly urge the government to seriously consider a full ban on zoos in Venezuela. Animals in zoos suffer tremendous psychological distress, often displaying abnormal or self-destructive behaviour. Animals belong in their natural habitat in the wild – it is a breach of their rights to take them by force into captivity.

In the meanwhile, the managers of this park must be immediately replaced with people who may at the very least ensure the well-being of these animals, to the extent that is possible for imprisoned animals, whereas the ones responsible for the death of Casimiro must be punished for severe negligence and maltreatment. Furthermore, frequent monitoring of the welfare of animals in this park should be undertaken in order to prevent any such negligence from re-occurring within the near future, until appropriate measures have been taken to shut down the park.

Thank you for your time.


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