A lot has been said and discussed on the news site and the safari parks Facebook page and a few comments do seem to repeat themselves so hopefully the following statements from the park will clear up a few things.
Knowsley Safari Park regularly culls surplus animals.
Completely untrue. The Park’s policy is to move surplus animals to other collections wherever possible; since April last year 190 animals have been successfully rehomed including Pere David’s Deer, Fallow Deer, Axis Deer, Nilgai, Red Lechwe and Blackbuck.
Knowsley Council said that there is ‘no evidence that the Safari Park is unethically downsizing’, and added that `the Park demonstrated through its animal transit records that the number of animals has been reduced to a sustainable and manageable total’ by `animals being transferred to other collections.’ The rehoming of certain species was as a result of the previous Curator’s (Penny Boyd’s partner) failure to address overpopulation issues. Stock numbers are now at 2008 levels.
Untrained keepers have been used to cull animals and animals have been used to provide keepers with target practice.
This is a preposterous allegation. Following a thorough investigation, Knowsley Council found that ‘there is no evidence to support this allegation’. Similar Merseyside Police found that no offence had been committed and only recommended improvements to the record keeping of our firearms.
The photos taken by Penny Boyd show animals culled by Knowsley Safari Park.
Completely untrue. The photos show either stillborn animals, animals that died of natural causes, or as a result of fighting, or animals put down by the vet due to injury. Culling remains a last resort once all other options have been considered with the full consultation of our keeping and veterinary staff.
The image of a dead Baboon was particularly misleading. The male was infanticidal (having killed two young baboons) and humanely euthanized; its body was double bagged and securely tied, and taken to the storage area for collection and disposal. The bag was untied, the head exposed and a photograph taken.
Standards at the Safari Park have dropped since Penny Boyd’s partner left the organisation.
This could not be furthest from the truth. The staff at Knowsley Safari Park are an exceptional and dedicated team; they join because animals are their passion, and they have the welfare of their animals as the highest priority.
BIAZA has stated that it “has full confidence in Knowsley Safari Park and the way they manage their animal collection. The park has some amazing groups of deer and antelope which live in superb conditions.
“We are satisfied that the two issues requiring further action – the storage and disposal of animal carcasses and firearms procedures – have been dealt with by the park and that it maintains excellent standards of animal husbandry and welfare.”
Finally, we would like to thank all for the messages of support we have received, and we now look forward to the birth of a third White Rhino calf in as many months, to a continued programme of education, research and conservation, and a landmark 40th anniversary year.