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Last Updated: Monday, 25 August, 2003, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Cash crisis closes zoo
Lions at Glasgow Zoo
Cash problems have forced the zoo to close
A financial crisis has led to the closure of Glasgow Zoo and the transfer of its animals to new homes.

Calderpark Zoo opened just after World War Two and had been popular with generations of visitors.

A loss of public funding, though, in recent years has forced the attraction to close its gates for the last time. It stopped receiving public cash in 2000 and has been swamped with debts of 3.5m.

As buildings and enclosures deteriorated and visitor numbers fell, a decision was taken in 1999 to sell off part of the land for housing.


The attraction has come under fire from animal welfare organisations, which highlighted concerns about conditions and public safety - and called for the park to be closed down.

Staff at the zoo are now working with the SSPCA to relocate the collection, which includes two lions and three Bengal tigers - as well as Bongo the Black Asian bear.

Homes have been found for most of the animals, but there are worries about two female Asiatic black bears, which may not be fit to move elsewhere.

Spokeswoman, Alicia McGrewer, said: "The lions and tigers have homes but the bears are the animals causing most concern.

"Because of their age, a full medical examination will have to be carried out to see if they are fit to travel before we can talk about where the best place for them to go is."


She added: "All the other animals, the SSPCA and the zoo are confident, will be found suitable homes."

Defending the zoo against its critics, Ms McGrewer said: "The animals have always been fine.

"It is the humans who have not liked the aesthetics of Glasgow Zoo but animal welfare has never been compromised."

If the Zoological Society, which is a charity, manages to sell off land to repay debts, it will investigate the commercial viability of opening a new animal-based visitor attraction in the east end of the city.

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