Killing animals is always the last resort at the zoo - but sometimes there is simply no alternative. This is the situation at Basel Zoo, which had to make a difficult decision. It was about a newborn orangutan baby whose mother had died.
The orangutan lady Revital was found dead in her enclosure. She had given birth to the young only four days earlier. "It was a shock to find her lifeless," the zoo said. The cause of death is still unclear. However, it was immediately clear that the baby would not be able to survive without its mother. So the zoo decided to put the animal to sleep.
"The euthanasia took place in consultation with those responsible for the stud book and various orangutan experts," the zoo wrote on Instagram. As a result, there were numerous protests from users and animal lovers, who pointed out that the young animal could also have been raised by hand.
However, this possibility was out of the question for the zoo. "Hand rearing is only a short-term solution," the experts explained. "If a great ape is raised by hand, it is conditioned to humans. As we know first-hand from the example of the gorilla lady Goma, this makes later reintegration into a ape group almost impossible. The animal is no longer accepted by its conspecifics as their own kind ."
These long-term consequences were incorporated into the decision-making process. Ultimately, the decision was made to euthanize. "You shouldn't confuse the short-term success of hand-rearing with the long-term goal," said zoo director Oliver Pagan of the "Basler Zeitung". The young animals would suffer from it for the rest of their lives, he added to SWR. They wanted to spare the young orangutan this, .
Sources: Zoo Basel on Instagram / "Basler Zeitung" / SWR
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