Injured, illegal wild animals take shelter in Gaziantep Zoo
The Gaziantep Zoo, which is located in the Burç Forest in the Şahinbey district, welcomes millions of local and foreign visitors throughout the year. The zoo, which has facilities such as resting areas, bus service, and cafeteria, is home to 7,500 animals of 350 species, ranging from reptiles to poultry and from predators to aquatic creatures. They are housed in areas similar to their natural environments to help them adjust to the new surroundings.
People have got the chance in the zoo to see the animals they cannot see in their everyday lives.
The zoo is home to several animals and reptiles, such as lions, monkeys, raccoons, pythons, water dragons, and different species of birds that have been brought in recent years. The zoo has a hospital that provides treatment to the injured animals with its experienced veterinarians.
Celal Özsöyler, the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality head of the Wildlife Protection Department, said that the zoo also serves as a rescue center.
Stating that the injured wild and illegal animals are brought to the zoo, Özsöyler said: “We do both the care and treatment of the injured and sick animals in the zoo. After the necessary care and treatments are done, and if the animal can survive, we leave it back to its natural environment.”
Özsöyler said if the treated animals could not survive in natural life, they took care of them in the zoo.
Stating that the animals without health certificates and reports are also sent to the zoos with relevant conditions, he said: “Stray animals are sent to zoos that are suitable for their natural habitat. In this regard, the Gaziantep Zoo is at the forefront with its knowledge, hospital, and equipment of veterinarians. Therefore, animals are sent to Gaziantep.”
“In our zoo, we take care of these animals, treat and host them. This year, we hosted 325 wounded and illegal animals, and bird species such as eagles, hawks, and storks. About 100 of them were released into their natural environment,” he added.