"We have told the zoo manager to start preparations and draft
a program to relocate all animals," Goran Kovacevic was cited as
saying by the national news agency Hina.
Monkeys will be sent to Germany while a solution for a 14-year
old tiger is still being considered, he said.
Earlier this week, the wide-selling Jutarnji List published a
story about small, dirty cages and poor conditions in the zoo,
which have appalled visitors reviewing the zoo on the website www.tripadvisor.com.
"This zoo is an utter disgrace. I do not get how it is still
open ... All in all, a terrible experience," one visitor wrote
on the website. Another simply said: "C'est monstreux" (It is
The zoo, located on Mt. Marjan overlooking Split's picturesque
harbor, has long had a bad reputation. Local animal rights
activists, united in the Marjan civic group, had tried for years
to have it closed.
"Bears live in a small concrete enclosure. Until recently there
were five wolves in a cage and they had so little room that they
constantly attacked one another," Marian's leader, Srdjan
Marinic, told the Jutarnji List daily on Thursday.
The zoo site will be transformed into a recreational park with
domestic animals, a kids' playground and a botanic garden,
deputy mayor Kovacevic said.
The southern Adriatic city attracts thousands of foreign
tourists every summer, thanks to its rich Roman-era heritage and
proximity to popular islands.
(Reporting by Zoran Radosavljevic;
editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
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