By Andria Kades
The Animal Party is staging a protest on Saturday over the import of two female elephants from Bangladesh at Paphos Zoo.
Expected to start at 7pm at Larnaca airport, the protest is against the “unacceptable, irrational and unfair decision” to house the elephants in Cyprus amid the party leader’s concerns over the welfare of the animals.
“There is so much humidity in Paphos, will the elephants be able to release the heat? If not, this will stress the animals from day one,” Kyriacou said, adding the pair may have chronic stress and illness if they cannot release their heat.
The party said the two new arrivals should not suffer the same fate as Julie, the elephant that died in Limassol zoo in 1998 due to poor up-keeping and asked the government to revoke any licences obtained for their arrival.
State services said the enclosure size for the elephants is satisfactory for four-year old Bono Rani (‘Forest Queen’) and five year old Shova Rani (‘Sweet Queen’). The animals are a gift to the zoo in Paphos from the government of Bangladesh.
Zoo owner Christos Christoforou said “the elephants’ enclosure is 1,000 sq.m. and has a pool,” stressing they will be given much better care than if they were in any other zoo.
Another concern Kyriacou has apart from the heat and space is the flooring.
“Elephants should be able to walk on a variety of substrates and not on level areas. There must be a variety of topography. Floors should be covered with rubber and sand,” as they risk developing arthritis on concrete floors.
The Green Party has also issued an announcement against the elephants’ arrival calling on state services to enquire about their living conditions at the zoo.