The Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna in eastern Sweden has made a name for itself as a haven of rescue for animals from across the world with a focus on wild, endangered species.
In order to aid this operation, the zoo offers the opportunity to sponsor individual animals at the zoo.
“We see our sponsors as a very important part of this preservation project, and we’re very clear on our website that their money will go towards those animals,” Helena Olsson at the zoo told The Local on Wednesday.
Olsson explained that the park has always had a very open attitude towards the public about the activity in the zoo, and that throughout the 15 years that people have been able to sponsor animals, they’ve never received complaints like this.
“I think it’s very sad that this has happened.”
She also stressed that pigs are not an endangered species, and that it’s part of the everyday running of a zoo to send superfluous animals to slaughter. The piglet in question was one of a group of about 20 that were killed to be use for food for the tigers.
“Our predators are carnivores, and we think it’s great if we can return the pigs, who’ve lived a heavenly life in the park, to the circle of life,” Helena Olsson told the Expressen daily of the piglets’ fate.
In line with the park’s routines, the sponsors of the Parken Zoo’s animals were only informed that the piglets were no longer alive, after they had already met their maker.
Olsson was unable to comment on whether the zoo in the future would consider informing sponsors in advance of their adopted animals’ demise.
She furthermore argued that the news has been blown out of proportion and ruled out consulting sponsors over how to manage the livestock at the zoo, underlining that there are strict guidelines to be adhered to.