The Loja Municipal Zoo is denying charges that its two giraffes have been mistreated and suffer from injuries and malnutrition. Recent social media posts on WhatsApp and Facebook claim that the giraffes are in bad health due to poor care and diet and that the zoo is not equipped to properly care for them.
“This reports are malicious and not true,” says zoo director Vinicio Luzuriaga. “The animals are in good health and are fed a balanced diet based on standard zoological norms. They have suffered no injuries to their legs as alleged by some social media reports.”
Luzuriaga added that the giraffes, which were a gift to the zoo three years ago, have adapted well to the climate and are housed in a clean area that contains other African animals. “The giraffes receive regular veterinary care and medical attention when required.”
According to a Facebook post, one of the giraffes showed a “serious limp” while the second had a minor limp. The zoo’s veterinarian, Milton Leiva, said that occasional limps are not uncommon among giraffes in captivity but said they are temporary and do not indicate “serious injury or pathology.”
Luzuriag urged the public to be wary of social media reports. “If you want information about the zoo, please go official sources and don’t believe what you read on social media.” He added that in recent months there has been an organized campaign against the zoo and its management and says that the intention is “malicious.”
The Loja zoo is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., receiving an average of 2,500 visitors a day.