Starving people will do crazy things to get food, but Venezuelans took it to a new level. A food shortage plaguing Venezuela right now has thrown the people into a frenzy, making some people resort to breaking into zoos to butcher and eat the animals.
Last week a group of people broke into Caricuao Zoo in Caracas, Venezuela, pulled a rare black stallion from its cage, and slaughtered him on the spot. They left behind only his head and ribs, and zoo keepers found the remains the next morning as they entered the cage to care for the horse.
Earlier this month, Vietnamese pigs and sheep that called the zoo their home were stolen by citizens for food as well.
Meanwhile, larger animals are beginning to show signs of emaciation, as the zoo is beginning to run out of feed. Zookeepers have resorted to feeding lions, hippos, elephants and goats mangoes and squash while they wait for food supplies to arrive.
“The situation that our zoo is going through is very sad,” said Marlene Sifontes, a union leader at INPARQUES, the government agency that runs the Caricuao zoo. “We have animals that have not eaten for up to 15 days, which affects their health,” Sifontes told Reuters.
Many Venezuelans outside the zoo are not faring much better, as they continue to make long lines in front of supermarkets in hopes of finding basic goods such as meat and rice.
The food shortage is supposedly caused by economic policies that involve strict price controls and foreign controls that make it unprofitable for businesses to import or produce food to sell to consumers. The government has done nothing to try and change the laws but instead have suggested making private sector employees leave their jobs and work for state-run farms.
The food shortage is worsening for the people and animals of Venezuela, but thankfully dozens of animals are going to be transported to other zoos ensure their safety.