Mbombela residents in Mpumalanga are up in arms boycotting the opening of a new Zoo in the province.
Over 7000 people have signed the petition in support of the outcry.
The petition has raised concerns regarding the zoo aiming to keep wild animals captive in the Mbombela area at the end of the year, whilst the Kruger National Park is a 45 minutes drive away from the town.
It is said that the reason for this park is for educational purposes.
Yvonne Rogers who started the petition said “The owners claim to have all permits in place. The animals were born in captivity and were badly abused when they arrived at the facility. Their well being will come first, they claim. The application at the MTPA is still considered and the importance of a fair administrative process in this regard is emphasized”.
It is reported that the zoo will keep tigers, white tigers, white lions and lions, a puma, a jaguar, and wild dogs.
According to reports, the wildlife park in this regard is allowed in accordance with the MTPA law of 2005. The owner has produced an approved permit for the local newspaper that has been issued in July.
“If you keep wild animals captive it takes away their freedom they are supposed to enjoy. It is totally different if you have a rehabilitation center where animals are rehabilitated and then reintroduced into the wild. This is not a rehabilitation center. It will be operated in a similar fashion as a zoo. We as Lowvelders feel that the Kruger National Park offers a far better educational value to the public,” expressed Rogers in the petition.
The public is urged to support the initiative by signing the petition.
“Please sign this petition if you agree that wildlife animals should roam in large parks such as the South African National Parks located all over South Africa, rather than being in a caged environment.”
In a statement, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) said they are currently investigating the animals being alert to the area.
The MTPA has received the application of the Phumba Wildlife Park which is currently being processed by the Permit Evaluation Committee. There is currently an investigation on the introduction of the game on the farm without a permit before the application was processed and finalized by MTPA.
“The process for such a facility registration is a long and tedious one. We’ll allow the committee of experts to sit and deliberate on the application and relevant documentation before approval or denial of a permit is granted.”