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Athens Zoo Animals’ Food Supply In Jeopardy

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Athens' Attica Park, who hosts the city's only zoo, is concerned that it won't receive required dietary supplements for its animals, due to capital controls.

As the monetary cap rolls into its third week, international suppliers are asking for payments in advance. The zoo is home to 2,200 animals who depend on specialized food from abroad.

As zoo founder Jean-Jacques Lesueur described to Reuters, "Many of our animals require a special diet, which demands specific nutrition that can only be imported."

On July 7th, Lesueur spoke to his suppliers who alerted him that the next three-week delivery must be paid for in advance. With the Greek banking system shut down, this was impossible.

The animal advocate stated, "You can't do this, we're talking about animal lives here," he told the suppliers, who eventually relented and agreed to make an exception. But they warned that future orders would have to be paid in advance."

Lesueur is trying to figure out how to cover the animals' needs in his current predicament. The privately owned zoo is already facing hardships, as the amount of patrons have decreased since the start of the economic crisis.

Lesueur added, "We want to pay them, we just don't have a way at the moment, the country is blocked, I can't get money out and our frozen supplies won't last more than two more weeks...After that it will become very urgent to get supplies. It's a matter of life or death for the animals."

(Source: Reuters)