20 Tayto Park animals died in 2017, 30 in 2016

12 Nov

20 of 300 Tayto Park animals died in 2017.jpg


20 of 300 Tayto Park animals died in 2017
by Darragh McDonagh – The Herald, 12 November 2018

Almost 7pc of the animal population at Tayto Park died last year, the zoo has confirmed.

The mortality rate of 6.7pc represents a reduction in the number of animal deaths at the theme park since 2016, when 30 animals – or 7.9pc of its collection – died.

Last year, Tayto Park sought to prevent the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht from releasing details of animal deaths at its zoo, claiming that the information would damage its business and result in negative publicity.

A copy of an animal inventory that it had provided to the department as part of an inspection process was eventually released under the Freedom of Information Act following an appeal, revealing the 2016 figures.

However, no animal inventory was submitted by Tayto Park to the department in respect of last year, making it the only zoo in the country not to furnish such a document.

Instead, the theme park permitted an official to inspect the inventory on site, without providing a copy to the department.

The document could therefore not be accessed under Freedom of Information rules.

A departmental inspection report from November 2017 noted that there were “just under” 300 animals in the collection at Tayto Park at the time, and the mortality rate for the first 10 months of the year was “approximately 5pc”.

Tayto Park confirmed that the animal mortality rate on the date of inspection was 5.3pc, but said that this had increased to 6.7pc by the end of the year.

This would equate to just over 20 deaths in a population of 300 animals.

The mortality rate on the day of inspection was described as “impressive” by the zoo licence inspector, who also praised its “spacious” enclosures and “stimulating habitats”.

“There has been considerable investment… in the animal enclosures, with the end result being a superb mix of entertainment with a well-considered zoo element,” added the report.

A spokesperson for Tayto Park said that it was dedicated to ensuring optimal welfare and best-practice husbandry for the animals in its care.

“Sadly, death is very much a part of life, and despite our best efforts, it is not always possible to extend an animal’s life, irrespective of intervention or the quality of care provided,” the spokesperson added.

“Every animal is part of our family, and each loss is very personal to the team at Tayto Park.”

Earlier this year, it emerged that 30 animals died at the theme park in 2016.

These included a Harris hawk, a bald eagle, a meerkat, a lionhead rabbit, a number of farmyard animals, and all three of the zoo’s Vietnamese pot-belly pigs.

Half of Tayto Park’s collection of white-lipped, red-bellied tamarin monkeys and Goeldi’s monkeys, which have a vulnerable conservation status, were also wiped out by an infection during the year.


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