The Paignton Zoo in the UK has been forced to put its mammals on contraceptive pills because they are running out of space.
The Paignton Zoo is giving 60 of its mammals contraception through implants, IUDs and tablets. The list of animals also includes lions and tigers. The big cats have to be anesthetized with a dart gun before being injected.
Things are further complicated due to the government ban that prohibits Devon’s Paignton Zoo from moving its animals to another zoo, at least till the end of the current year.
Amid the pressure, the zoo has taken action to stop mating from becoming an issue, as it will be nearly impossible for the zoo authorities to accommodate and take care of more animals. However, they can’t neuter or spay the animals, since they plan to return to breeding later.
Talking to the BBC, the head veterinary, Ghislaine Sayers, said: “We must prevent overcrowding but we must still be in a position to take part in breeding programs when the restrictions are lifted, so we need temporary solutions.”
The zoo also fears the spread of Tuberculosis (TB), as 11 antelope had to be killed last summers as one of them had the disease. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has an authority to impose ban on the movement of animals in centers and farms if Tuberculosis (TB) is discovered.
The zoo believes that the disease was spread by a badger and, to restrict this, the authorities are beefing up the fence to stop unwanted animals from crossing the line and disturbing peace.
Orangutans might get extinct in 10 years. (Source: Getty Images)
The Paignton Zoo has no other option; it sends hundreds of animals to breed all over the world but is currently restricted because of the ban. The zoo has been in close talks with experts all over the continent and will test the mammals again in the six months to see if there is any sign of TB. The breeding program from the zoo will only restart when the APHA gives them the green signal that the zoo has been declared TB-free.
As for the breeding, they plan to return to it as soon as they have the sources to accommodate more animals.