Mountain Park Claims

Monday, July 17, 2017
By Vivienne Hughes

ALM Bengal Tigers OnLThe mountain park, Peña Escrita, in Almuñécar, still has quite a few wild animals looking for a home, but some will never see that day – they have already died.

The Town Hall contacted animal association FAADA two years ago it, which then took on the task of moving the furry inmates. But now this same association has denounced the “numerous obstacles” encountered along the way.

For instance, they claim that the Town Hall has cut off communication with them and that furthermore, the said animals find themselves almost without control owing to “bad municipal management.”

Laura Riera, who is also an advisor at the wild-animal management association FAADA, claims that many of the homes that they have managed to find could now be lost because the Town Hall has failed to send them the necessary documentation.

This is the case where four bears are involved – the deal was practically closed with a centre in Hungary, which was even going to take on half the transfer costs.

“The Town Hall is not answering the phone or responding to emails,” she claims, adding that the last two years have been just a “series of absurdities.”

Summing up, she considers that the Town Hall is simply not providing the necessary human or financial resources for the task.

This situation is taking its toll on the mental and physical health of the remaining animals: a total of 70 animals consisting of foxes, wolves and even a tiger, amongst other species.

The FAADA blasts the Town Hall for what they consider to be a complete lack of control, so much so, that the “Town Hall doesn’t even known how many animals are up there,” they claim.

For instances, many of the animals are breeding without any supervision, amongst them, wild boars that live on the mountainside.

Finally, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, Laura Riera, claims that several animals waiting to be transferred have died, thanks to this lack of paperwork, amongst them, a macaco monkey and two bison – and that’s only the deaths that they know about.

Some of the paperwork that they have received has been either contradictory or blatantly inaccurate, meaning that the FAADA has to carry out their own medical checks because they can’t rely on the medical certificates provided by the Town Hall.

“If the municipal personnel do not have the qualifications to carry out their task then the Town Hall should hire an external company,” she said.

The Town Hall’s side of the story is completely different.

Whilst Councillor for the Environment, Luis Aragón, does admit that paperwork for transfers is lagging, he claims that it is because of the bad management inherited from the Benavides administration.

“The animals never had any documentation in the first place. I have a closed park on my hands and no way of getting the animals out of there,” he lamented.

He said that the FAADA is asking for documentation, and that his department is working on trying to sort out the administrative problems, but that it takes time. “It certainly doesn’t mean,” he says, “that they are ignoring the FAADA.” He said that that the FAADA had no right to claim that he was not answering the phone or emails, but that things don’t get sorted out just one day from the next.

Referring to the bears that are waiting to go to Hungary, he said that the Town Hall is still waiting for the quote on how much the transfer expenses are going to be. Things are progressing little by little, he claims, thanks to the six people employed for this task, amongst them a vet and a biologist.

“The animals are fed good quality food and they get all the necessary care,” and all this, he says, despite the park being closed, meaning that the installations have no income to cover any of the outgoings.

We have arranged with Councillor Aragón to visit the park and see for ourselves, which will be reported on at a later date as a follow-up article.

(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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