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After social media uproar, Kiryat Motzkin zoo throws some more shade at its animals

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Israelis demonstrate outside the Hai animal park in Kiryat Motzkin on July 28, 2022. (Courtesy, Campaign to Save the Animals at Hai Animal Park, Kiryat Motzkin)
Israelis demonstrate outside the Hai animal park in Kiryat Motzkin on July 28, 2022. (Courtesy, Campaign to Save the Animals at Hai Animal Park, Kiryat Motzkin)

A second shading net is added to the elephants’ enclosure at the Kiryat Motzkin Hai animal park in northern Israel, following an outcry about the animals’ exposure to the sun.

A public furor broke out several days ago after Nir David, a political activist, posted a picture on social media of two elephants apparently clinging to the wall of their compound to keep cool in its shade.

The post went viral, garnering 2,600 comments and 3,900 shares, and prompted the launch of a campaign to “save” the animals by Lauren Tobaly, a math student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who lives in Tel Aviv.

In response to the row, representatives of the Agriculture Ministry and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority visited the facility last week. They launched an investigation and prohibited the park from accepting any new animals for the time being. They said they could not comment further until conclusions have been drawn.

A statement from the Agriculture Ministry said that several “enforcement procedures” had been conducted over recent months at the park and that several “deficiencies” had been found, not all of which had been corrected.

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