Quirky World ... 'Worst zoo on planet' to close doors

A video on Youtube shows bears in the zoo in very small and dirty cages

Croatia’s second largest city of Split will close its zoo, which has been described by foreign tourists as the “worst in the world”.

“We have told the zoo manager to start preparations and draft a program to relocate all animals,” deputy mayor Goran Kovacevic was cited as saying by the national news agency Hina.

Monkeys will be sent to Germany while a solution for a 14-year old tiger is still being considered, he said.

Earlier this week, the wide-selling Jutarnji List daily newspaper published a story about small, dirty cages and poor conditions in the zoo, which have appalled visitors reviewing the zoo on tripadvisor.com.

“This zoo is an utter disgrace. I do not get how it is still open ... All in all, a terrible experience,” one visitor wrote on the website. Another simply said: “C’est monstreux” (It is monstrous).

The zoo, located on Mt Marjan and overlooking Split’s picturesque harbour, has long had a bad reputation. Local animal rights activists, united in the Marjan civic group, had tried for years to have it closed.

“Bears live in a small concrete enclosure. Until recently there were five wolves in a cage and they had so little room that they constantly attacked one another,” Marjan’s leader, Srdjan Marinic, told the Jutarnji List daily.

The zoo site will be transformed into a recreational park with domestic animals, a children’s playground, and a botanic garden, Kovacevic said.

The southern Adriatic city attracts thousands of tourists every summer, thanks to its rich Roman-era heritage and proximity to popular islands.

RAIL WOE

ENGLAND: Trains were cancelled after a taxi carrying ticket conductors broke down on the way to the station — and health and safety policy banned them from walking.

London Midland told passengers it was cancelling two of its services from Birmingham New Street station in the city centre after the breakdown happened during what is usually a short journey by foot from nearby Snow Hill station.

However, the rail operator has said its own safety policy bars the uniformed conductors from getting to the station on foot because they are carrying their ticket machines and cash takings.

LITERARY HOAX

ENGLAND: With its tales of underground palaces and a diet of vipers’ blood for breakfast, it was one of the great literary hoaxes of the 18th century — now a work of travel fantasy which fooled high society is to go on public display.

The History Of Formosa gives a fantastical account of life on the island now known as Taiwan. Supposedly written by a native, its accounts of criminals being killed and eaten and priests sacrificing thousands of children to gods captivated London society.

But it was completely made up and author George Psalmanazar was actually a white, blonde Frenchman who had never left Europe and whose real name is still unknown.

OLD BONES

USA: A species of dinosaur described as Tyrannosaurus Rex’s “smaller cousin from the north” has been discovered.

An analysis of 70m-year-old fossilised skull remains found in northern Alaska has shown them to be from a new pygmy Tyrannosaurus, according to research published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

Scientists concluded that the species, Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, had an adult skull length of 25in (63.5cm), less than half the size of the 60in (152.4cm) skull of a T Rex, believed to have been the largest of all carnivorous dinosaurs.

BATTLE BREWING

USA: Ice hockey fans in Idaho have found the price of beer at their beloved team’s ground hard to swallow.

Three Idaho Steelheads supporters are suing the home arena in Boise as they claim they were duped into thinking a beer advertised as “large” held more of the brew than the smaller size.

They claim the taller, narrower “large” cup — which costs $3 dollars more than the “small” — actually holds the same amount of beer, and are seeking $10,000 (€7,195) in damages for their unsatisfied thirst. The arena is yet to comment.

CURRENCY CURVEBALL

USA: The US Mint is set to produce a coin in honour of baseball, complete with a unique “curve” to reflect the shape of the game’s best pitches.

The bowl-shaped currency is the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, which ordered the US Treasury to make a coin to mark the Hall of Fame’s 75th anniversary this year. The coin will come in $5, $1, and half-dollar denominations.

PAMPERED PETS

USA: Americans do not hold back when it comes to lavishing luxury on their pets — figures show they spent $55.7bn (€40bn) on their animal companions last year. And the American Pet Products Association said the figure is likely to be closer to $60bn this year.

Food accounted for $21.6bn of the spending in 2013 — a year in which many families were supposedly forced to scale back spending generally due to the economic downturn — which was about the same amount spent on pets in total in the US in 1996.


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