Johannesburg Zoo closes due to strike, asks for volunteers to help feed animals

Hmmm, not sure if this is a good idea.

Zoo workers, particularly those whose job it is to feed the animals, seem to us to be people who are fairly well-trained to do the work.

Remember the story about the zoo staff who got suspended a couple of weeks ago because someone gave an otter an unauthorized pair of pants?

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The reason construction workers at the zoo are on strike is unclear. Media at the scene were advised not to approach but according to the Rosebank Killarney Gazette , posters at the main gate of the zoo alluded to racism by management and poor working conditions.

The unprotected strike was confirmed by Joburg City Parks and Zoo spokesperson Jenny Moodley, who stated by 2pm on the day that police had contained the situation and that zoo management was mediating with the workers to return to work because the strike was illegal.

 

“We had full contingency plans in place to assure that the zoo enclosure is safe, including its volunteers who were looking after the well being of the animals,” said Moodley.

Six busses filled with school children were denied access to the zoo in the morning and the groups decided to wait at Zoo Lake in the hopes that the gates would reopen while the children played in the park for a number of hours.

There was strong security presence throughout the strike, including members of Rosebank and metro police, as well as riot control.

“Initially we had a crowd of 50 people demonstrating,” said spokesperson for Rosebank Police, Sergeant Bongi Mdletshe. “There were sporadic acts of vandalism and they tried to stop working staff and volunteers from feeding the animals.”

Strikers were said to have also switched off all electricity and water supplies to the zoo.

h/t: Rosebank Killarney Gazette, Johannesburg Zoo 

Photo credit: Johannesburg Zoo 

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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