Tayto Park has responded to recent reports that they attempted to prevent the Department of Culture from releasing figures regarding how many animals have died at its zoo.
In a statement released this morning, the theme park in Ashbourne, Co.Meath said that 30 animals passed away in 2016 out of a total of 377 animals in their zoo.
"This mortality rate of 7.9% was not related to any shortcomings in the care and husbandry that we provided," said the statement.
The animals reported to have died were: Chickens, Rabbits, Pheasants, Sheep, Pygmy Goats, Partridges, a Goose, a Hawk, a Meerkat and our three very old pot-bellied Pigs Toot, Puddle and Pumbaa.
"Our beloved male Bald Eagle Arnold battled myositis with the best of care but very sadly he passed away. An infection saw us lose two of our much loved Goeldis and Tamarin, but the round the clock care of our dedicated team of keepers and vets meant that we saved the remaining group."
The statement said: "In the past, releasing figures on the animal mortality rates at Zoos in Ireland has resulted in coverage which we believe was out of context.
"While positives of new births, arrivals and breeding successes were noted, there was no consideration given to natural lifespan, age, biology when considering the death of an animal. This was frustrating for us and upsetting for our zookeepers, veterinarians and zoo managers.
"The animals they care deeply about, look after 365 days of the year, and know by name, are far more than numbers and statistics to them."
Tayto Park said that the attraction was commended by Zoo Inspectors, retained by the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, for its "excellent health care programme, levels of cleanliness, spacious enclosures and exceeding best practise."
Tayto Park said they are very proud of their team for their passion and professionalism.