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Chapultepec Zoo rescues big cats and monkeys from mistreatment at Mexico City sanctuary

Mexico City, Mexico — A total of eight big cats have been given a new home at the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City after a mass rescue effort last week. The rescued cats were only a handful of the nearly 200 found mistreated on a sanctuary earlier in the month.

The Secretariat of the Environment (Sedema) of Mexico City said that veterinaries from the General Directorate of Zoos and Conservation of Wild Fauna provided care to seven lions, a tiger, four baboons and 10 spider monkeys that arrived at the zoo.

The animals were part of a rescue last week by the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) from a property located in Ajusco.

July 6, the zoo’s official residency increased with three male and one female lion, three baboons and three spider monkeys. On July 7, two lionesses, a lion and a tigress arrived, as well as another baboon and seven more spider monkeys.

Ten spider monkeys were also part of the zoo rescue. Photo: Secretaría del Medio Ambiente

In a public statement, the federal agency reported that the animals were in poor condition and continue with special care. The felines and several of the primates showed signs of malnutrition and were found underweight.

Around 200 felines were found near starvation at the Mexico City sanctuary. Photo: Secretaría del Medio Ambiente

“In the case of the lions, different apparent injuries were observed in some parts of their bodies and some have injuries or partial amputations in their tails. They are undergoing treatment which will continue for several weeks,” they detailed in their statement.

The animals are being isolated in restricted quarantine areas where they are being fed and attended to by the medical-veterinary hospital of the Chapultepec Zoo.

“Different diagnostic tests are being carried out in the zoo’s own laboratories in order to complement the clinical examination of these specimens and provide the necessary treatment to improve their health status,” they reported.

The animals were part of a mass rescue effort in which several zoos around the country participated after a criminal complaint was filed against the sanctuary for the starvation and mistreatment of its animals.