The Otara Foundation appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena to intervene to prevent wild animals rescued from forests being sent to zoos instead of being returned to the wild.
In a letter addressed to the President, brought to his attention was the case of four sloth bear cubs and a leopard cub now under the care of the Wildlife Conservation Department, and a request the Department had received that they be sent to the recently established zoo at Wagolla, Pinnawela.
The Foundation points out that the new zoo at Pinnawela already has six leopards in captivity and questions its need for a seventh. It also notes that the Sri Lankan sloth bear is on the Red List of Endangered Species of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and that three of the bear cubs are currently at the Safari Park at Hambantota and one is at the Dehiwela zoo, despite protests by the veterinarians and officials of the Wildlife Department.
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