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Monkeys in charge of Zoo

17 March 2013, 19:00

The National Zoological Gardens (NZG) of South Africa, situated in Pretoria, is just another typical example of what happens when you put monkeys in charge of a major tourist attraction – it falls to pieces.

Another case in point is Robben Island.

This National Heritage site (erstwhile finishing school for the leedas of the ANC), has also become a national disgrace.

In recent years it has been plagued by gross financial mismanagement, leadership battles, corruption, theft and environmental incompetence.

Animals on the island, including bontebok, springbok, fallow deer and rabbits are starved to death because of neglect and a lack of vegetation.

Some tour operators say they discourage tourists from visiting Robben Island.

Question: How difficult is it to run an abandoned prison?

Answer: Much too difficult for a team of monkeys.

But let’s get back to the Pretoria Zoo. According to the NZG *website:

“More than 600 000 people visit the Zoo annually. The NZG is a proud facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF).”

“The 85-hectare Zoo in Pretoria houses 3 117 specimens of 209 mammal species, 1 358 specimens of 202 bird species, 3 871 specimens of 190 fish species, 388 specimens of 4 invertebrate species, 309 specimens of 93 reptile species, and 44 specimens of 7 amphibian species.”

“Environmental enrichment is the process of improving or enhancing the environment of zoo animals and has become a prerequisite tool with regard to the management of animals in zoos worldwide. Find out more about our enrichment programme.”

Enough of the BS! Let me tell you the truth.

Once a month, the Friends of the National Zoo have a fun walk at the zoo on a Saturday morning. On Saturday (the 16th of March), I arrived early and wandered off on my own to take some **photos.

Disgusting, disgraceful, sickening, repulsive – these words don’t fully describe the sights that met my unprotected, virginal eyes! And stuffed up my sensitive, artistic nose.

If I knew where to locate my core, I would probably find that it was in a deep state of shock. Just like me – shocked to the core!

The ***Apies river, which flows through the zoo, has become a highway for all sorts of pollutional garbage and other unsightly forms of human offal. Flotsam and jetsam and bliksem. And the smell! Even you atheists out there would proclaim that it stank to high Heavens.

Egyptian geese, ibises, hadedas, and various water birds try to find food amongst the tons of debris and muck floating on the water.  

The horror! The horror!

Derelict toilets are still being used by some of the wekkas! Abandoned storerooms with all the electrical fittings stolen! Garbage dumps rotting next to animal enclosures!

Broken windows stripped of all their brass fittings! And, like the disgusting river running through it – the zoo shows all the symptoms of the incompetent, ineffectual, inept management. Monkeys, I tell you.  

Go look at their ****pictures – they all look sooo content. They hear no evil, do no evil, and see no evil. In fact; they do NOTHING.

But the smell! Oh, the smell!

Pure monkey, I tell you!

PS    I’m now going to send my photos of the zoo to Kortbroek van Schalkwyk and to as many embassies as I can get hold of. I want them to know about the monkeys.

You can help – send these photos to your friends overseas. Maybe we can warn potential tourists to this country of the monkey business.


*website -

**photos – see: Multimedia published by the News24 community

***Apies river – from Afrikaans: monkeys. Named after the NZG management team

****pictures -

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