Zoo Animals In Athens At Risk Of Starvation

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Athens zoo

Following the capital controls imposed by the Greek government, supplies of special imported dietary supplements needed to feed 2,200 animals from 345 species at Athens’ only zoo are under threat.

Foreign suppliers of products ranging from frozen fish from the Netherlands to meal worms from Germany or special additives from France used to be paid 60 days after delivery but are now demanding payment in advance.

Attica Zoological Park founder Jean-Jacques Lesueur says that the lives of dolphins, seals, penguins, lemurs, flamingos and giant anteaters are “endangered” by the recent misfortunes of the Greek economy.

Visitors to the zoo have already dropped during the economic crisis and the privately owned zoo is now bracing for the steep rise value added tax which jumped to 23 percent under the latest bailout deal.

RT reports: With the introduction of capital controls, foreign suppliers have demanded a full pre-payment for food shipped to the country that has had limitations on the money transfers imposed.

“From the first moment of capital controls our three main suppliers informed us that every food shipment has to be fully paid in advance. We only have two weeks to receive a big fish shipment,” Lesueur told Ruptly on Thursday.

The zoo’s three major suppliers from France, Germany and the Netherlands are responsible for shipment of specialized foodstuff that can’t be found in Greece, such as the Beta Carotene-rich pellets for flamingos which aid their bright pink feathering, alongside with fish and worms, essential for the animals’ diet.

The government-imposed restrictions result in a blockade of goods for animals, as they not only limit cash withdrawals but also money transfers abroad.

Niamh Harris
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