Seoul Zoo sold 43 of its deer and black goats to meat traders in August claiming that there was no space for the “surplus” animals, activists said Tuesday.
Garcia, president of Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), says he was tipped off about the sale from an animal handler at the zoo.
Investigators followed a truck from the zoo and raided the farm.
A young black goat had been decapitated, six goats had died during transportation, and many goats had sustained injuries as a result of poor handling and transportation practices.
AJ Garcia claims that the practice of selling surplus animals for consumption has become a serious issue.
“It’s become a business for them. They purposefully overpopulate the zoo and then they sell the animals off,” Garcia said. “Who is going to buy all the animals? Slaughterhouses! It is common sense.”
Government officials, responsible for Seoul Zoo, said they thought the animals were sold to a petting zoo and that selling animals by auction is efficient.
In South Korea, deer are raised for antler, which is used as oriental medicine, and then killed for meat. Goats are also raised for consumption and its meat considered good for stamina.
CARE convinced the purchaser to return the animals to Seoul Zoo and get a refund.
The zoo asked the farmer for double the money he paid for the animals to take them back.
CARE persuaded the farm owner not to kill the animals and have launched a fundraiser to purchase and re-home these animals in an animal sanctuary.
An employee at the zoo said that some animal handlers sometimes eat the animals under their supervision.
These animals include lions, tigers, and dogs. This has not been confirmed.
There is also a dog adoption center at the zoo.
“Lots of their dogs end up in dog meat farms,” Garcia said.
“There is no oversight, no-one really cares. The people who work at this zoo are government officials,” he added.
Seoul Metropolitan Government organized a forum specifically to address the issues raised by CARE.
However, the agenda of this meeting was changed the day of the forum.
“The president of the zoo was there and he did not answer anything. It was upsetting,” Garcia said.
You can find the crowdfunding campaign of CARE from the following link, Rescue deer and goats abandoned by a Zoo, https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/rescue-deer-and-goats-abandoned-by-a-zoo–2