Park criticised for overcrowding in lions' den
Monday 21 June 2010
A safari park has come under criticism by Government vets for keeping lions in a "very crowded" overnight pen for 18 hours a day over the winter.
Officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) were called to Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire in January following complaints. The park is currently building a new lion house, due to open this summer. A report said the "inadequate" building was "structurally unsound".
The inspection was carried out by Defra and officers from Central Bedfordshire Council, the zoo's licensing authority, following concerns from a former worker. It was followed up by a second visit in February and a further inspection earlier this month.
The report on lions, which was compiled in January, said: "There were clear signs of fighting between the animals; the overnight house was inadequate in space provision and facilities for the animals, structurally unsound and unsafe to operate."
It found that staff going near the enclosure were armed with a shotgun in case the building deteriorated and the animals escaped.
"The lions were confined in the winter season for unreasonable lengths of time," it added. "However, it was clear that the Woburn management were acting to improve the situation."
.The park was also issued with a prohibition notice by the council in April to improve fences enclosing its bull elephant, Raja, because of a "real and present likelihood of escape".
The notice was withdrawn the following day, when the council acknowledged its conditions were being met, the park said.
An internal report in May last year discovered the chlorinated water in its sea lion enclosure was causing eye discomfort. It has now moved them to a facility with sea water.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
elephant appealPrince William signs up for our charity appeal
elephant appealSo says man jailed for cutting off dead elephant's tusks
voicesPeople moan that Christmas is too commercial, the spirit lost. But it is a time to over-indulge, and always has been, says DJ Taylor
booksWe examine the best titles for teens
scienceResearchers teach border collie to understand sentences using more than 1,000 words
booksA Christmas story in six parts
travelWill high-value tourism help the workshops of this Renaissance city?
food + drinkA trifle without custard? Surely not! Nonsense – and here’s three to finish your festive meal that prove it
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Charity Appeal: 'The way to stop poaching is to use people like me,' says man jailed for cutting off dead elephant's tusks
The good news: there has been a dramatic increase in Arctic sea ice. The bad news: it's still half the level is was in the 1980s
The 10 best folding bikes
‘Hell for animals’: Egypt's Giza Zoo beset by tear gas, bear ‘riots’ and giraffe ‘suicide’
10 best hiking boots
- 1 Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 The publisher who played with fire: the battle for control of Larsson's £30m legacy
- 5 Police seize possessions of rough sleepers in crackdown on homelessness
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
David Cameron takes his biggest gamble yet as he gets tough on Europe over immigration
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- < Previous
- Next >
£32999 - £42001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Are you a newly q...
£90000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Manager - Financial Servic...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: My client, a Top ...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Key Stage 1 Leader- Gi...