On January 19, Daily Mail’s Inside the World's Saddest Zoo went viral within minutes. The pictures show bears and lions who are forced to live off slaughterhouse scraps after being abandoned by the owner.
Since October 2015 Let’s Save Animals of Gyumri Zoo Initiative that involves a number of volunteers in Armenia has made efforts to improve the situation for the animals.
“Now the so-called zoo does not have water and the old couple taking care of the animals has to fetch gallons of water for several kilometers. We do not have vehicles and enough food,” said Arsen Vardanyan from Let’s Save Animals of Gyumri Zoo Initiative.
Nare Aramyan from ProPaws said the area the animals are kept in cannot be called a zoo - it is “some area with few cages.” The gaps in the legislation have led to such an utter negligence, Aramyan believes.
“Though there is the Government’s decision regulating the sphere, we still need a comprehensive law for several agencies to deal with issues with a systematic approach.”
Dagmar Mayer, WVS International Veterinary Manager, said the animals have felt better since the group of volunteers have been taking care of them. “And now animal welfare organizations must team up to develop a joint project for transporting the animals abroad,” said Mayer.
“Gyumri City Administration has contacted the owner and proposed covering the transportation,” said Sona Arakelyan, Press Secretary of Gyumri Mayor, “The owner rejected the offer because he had previously contacted the Ministry of Nature Protection and the owner said the problem would soon be solved. The city does not have enough finances to keep the animals.”