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Ministry of Environment to take care of Lithuanian Zoo

2009-12-11

 Ministry of Environment to take care of Lithuanian Zoo

Taking account of numerous requests from the public, the Ministry of Environment has decided to take over the Lithuanian Zoo in Kaunas. Such a proposal will be submitted to the Government. The Kaunas county governor’s administration has taken care of the zoo so far. However, it will not be able to do this after counties are abolished. Some members of the Parliament, non-governmental organisations and public bodies have also expressed concern about the zoo.

The possibility of transferring the zoo to the Kaunas city municipality has been discussed. However, municipal leaders have stated that they have no financial possibilities to take care of the zoo. Heads of the zoo have said they would like the functions of the founder of the zoo to be returned to the Ministry of Environment.

Ministry specialists have familiarised themselves with the current situation of the Lithuanian Zoo. They have established that it is in a difficult economic situation, and financing for it has been reduced for a number of years already. “We have taken into account the fact that keeping of animals is not the only function of the zoo. A rare and endangered animal introduction programme is underway. The zoo performs an educational function. In addition, the zoo has the potential to develop and may change the nature of its activities in the near future to strengthen its relation to environmental protection. For example, the zoo could probably engage in rehabilitation and care of injured wild animals, etc.,” Minister Gediminas Kazlauskas says.

If the Government approves the proposal to transfer the Lithuanian Zoo to the Ministry of Environment, a plan of further activities of the zoo and its improvement will be prepared.

Ministry of Environment information, tel. 219 1869

11 December 2009

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas