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Tayto Park wishes to address the recent reports about its animal inventory.
In the past, releasing figures on the animal mortality rates at Zoos in Ireland has resulted in coverage which we believe was out of context. While positives of new births, arrivals and breeding successes were noted, there was no consideration given to natural lifespan, age, biology when considering the death of an animal. This was frustrating for us and upsetting for our zookeepers, veterinarians and zoo managers. The animals they care deeply about, look after 365 days of the year, and know by name, are far more than numbers and statistics to them.
In 2016, 30 animals passed away at Tayto Park, from a total animal population of 377. This mortality rate of 7.9% was not related to any shortcomings in the care and husbandry that we provided.
Far from any cause for concern for the Zoo Inspectors, who are retained by The Department of Arts Heritage and The Gaeltacht and inspect our Zoo annually, Tayto Park was commended, amongst other items, for its excellent health care programme, levels of cleanliness, spacious enclosures and exceeding best practise.
Unfortunately, death is inevitable, for creatures great and small and despite our best efforts, so it was at Tayto Park. The animals that died were Chickens, Rabbits, Pheasants, Sheep, Pygmy Goats, Partridges, a Goose, a Hawk, a Meerkat and our three very old pot-bellied Pigs Toot, Puddle and Pumbaa. Our beloved male Bald Eagle Arnold battled myositis with the best of care but very sadly he passed away. An infection saw us lose two of our much loved Goeldis and Tamarin, but the round the clock care of our dedicated team of keepers and vets meant that we saved the remaining group.
We are very proud of the passion and professionalism of our team at Tayto Park and particularly our Veterinarians and Zookeepers. The role and aim of Tayto Park Zoo is to continue to maintain the existing high standards of animal care and husbandry that we provide to all species part of our zoological collection. We look forward to maintaining our high standards in 2018 and continuing to contribute to the care and conservation of the animal population both here and internationally.