Opportunity to close an unnecessary Zoo
By Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian, President of GAP Project International
We had just won a legal contentious with Beto Carrero World for possession of half a dozen chimpanzees, which belonged to former Circus Garcia, and we, along with Anami Institute, from Paraná, had bought, as part of the farm where they were staying , 14 chimpanzees who worked at the circus.
Beto Carrero managed to catch them, through an injunction, and could initially take the primates out of Paraná Sanctuary. However, in a few weeks, the injunction was revoked, since we were the rightful owners to have purchased the property with all primates, and we went to the park to get them back, with the help of Justice.
Later we had the initiative to invite Beto Carrero to a meeting and he readily accepted. We already knew each other, due to a similar occasion in the past. The lunch took place in a restaurant in São Paulo, and was intended to "disarm the spirits” of that meaningless fight in which GAP, Anami and Beto Carrero had been involved.
Beto opened the discussion with a startling confession: he wanted to participate in GAP Project. Anyway, his decision did not surprise us, since a previous time he acknowledged that the circus had made very wrong things with chimpanzees and other animals, and he was already abandoning the profession of circus, which he became the chief figure in Brazil , and would concentrate his efforts on the business of parks and toys. Then he confessed that the Zoo no longer attracts more visitors, and was no longer an income generator; toys and theme parks are the future.
Then we started to go into the details of a possible future collaboration. I told him he would have to close the zoo, deliver the chimpanzees to our sanctuary and then he could be considered a defender of great apes and a member of our organization.
When I left him in front of his office on 9 de Julho avenue, in São Paulo, we agreed that we would work such an agreement and both would leave behind fights for the sake of chimpanzees, which in the end should not pay for the consequences of human vanity. A week after Beto Carrero died.
I did not know he had been in the United States, that he had undergone a surgery and that his health has weakened recently. It did not seem that he was about to die when we met.
If he had survived that historical conversation, of which I am the only witness, it would have radically changed the fight for the rights of great apes and animals in the country. Beto was convinced that the era of animal exploitation was over and he was willing to acknowledge his mistakes and rectify publicly conduct, becoming a defender of animals.
Again, now, an opportunity arises for the successors of his enterprise, if they really appreciate the life story of Beto Carrero, who would radically change, make the difference.
Beto Carrero World park is planning an international musical show to happen in its facilities in November. This spectacle has high sound levels and will deeply disturb - over two days - the animals residing at the Zoo, which still exists as part of the park. IBAMA announced that it will not allow the conclusion of the event if it is not clear that the sounds do not reach the animals. The company that is organizing the event claimed that conditions have created barriers to prevent the spread of sound to the Zoo. IBAMA insists that this is not guaranteed - and we doubt that it can really be - and sets they should remove the animals if they want to do the show.
The opportunity is now, and not just once. Closing forever the zoo in the park would let them free of these obstacles, and this and other events could be held, giving the real support that the park needs to be profitable.
On this occasion and invoking the thought of Beto Carrero just before his death, we offer our collaboration to the park direction and to environmental authorities to disable the Zoo, receiving the animals - especially chimpanzees, so that Carrero’s will, who understood that times have changed and that animals should not be used in most public entertainment, is fulfilled.
Beto Carrero World park and environmental authorities have the word now!