Activists Demand Permanent Closure of Troubled Puerto Rico Zoo

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Animal rights activists are demanding that Puerto Rico permanently close its only zoo following reports of deaths and improper care. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has sent the U.S. territory's government a letter urging officials to relocate all the zoo's animals to sanctuaries. Attorney Cristina Stella said Friday that officials were violating the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act. A recent report from a government-appointed committee overseeing the 45-acre Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in the western city of Mayaguez found multiple issues. It noted that two pumas had died, several animals were limping and 127 mammals required physical tests or vaccines. The zoo has been closed to the public since Hurricane Irma in 2017. A government spokesman did not return a message for comment.

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