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Mass rescue efforts begin to place more than 200 starving and mistreated felines from private Mexico City sanctuary

Mexico City, Mexico — Zoos from around the country continue to help with the rescue of felines that were reported starving to death. On Friday, personnel from the zoos of León, Morelia and Guadalajara, among others, will arrive at the private Mexico City site to rescue the animals.

Earlier in the week, the Association of Zoos, Breeders and Aquariums of Mexico (Azcarm) filed a criminal complaint against the Black Jaguar-White Tiger shelter for the extreme mistreatment of more than 200 cats.

Since then, the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) responded to the complaint in a sanctuary in Ajusco (Mexico City) where they located 201 felines, including African and white lions, tigers, jaguars and pumas, as well as 17 primates and two coyotes.

Through a statement, Profepa pointed out that after the complaints, an inspection visit was carried out to verify the conditions of the lions and other cats. At least eight were reported in critical condition due to mistreatment.

“In general terms, the conditions of the specimens are considered to be from regular to poor physical condition with an advanced degree of malnutrition, dehydration and general neglect in their conditions of dignified and respectful treatment,” Profepa said in a statement.

“Profepa specialists carried out a physical characterization of each of the animals, their respective technical file and a veterinary review to know their state of health. Eight specimens were found in critical condition, which are receiving specialized care.”

According to Azcarm, on July 8, efforts will begin to transfer more felines from the Black Jaguar property to zoos in other states. On July 6, 10 monkeys, four baboons and four lions were transferred to the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City. On July 7, three additional lions and one tiger were sent.

Azcarm says the rescued cats are being fed chicken scraps so that they can begin to recover their strength since they are in a critical state of malnutrition.

Azcarm said that based on the testimonies of former employees of the alleged animal rescue foundation, there are grounds to assume that specimens known to have died of malnutrition, lack of water, or after being sacrificed, were buried on the property.

The association highlights that according to Article 420 of the Federal Penal Code, abandoning, mistreating, not feeding, slaughtering or killing a wild animal in danger of extinction in Mexico is a crime against biodiversity.

Ernesto Zazueta, the President of Azcarm, says what they are looking for is for Eduardo Moises Serio, founder and owner of Black Jaguar-White Tiger, to be punished for various crimes against biodiversity.

He explained that in order to provide proof of the deaths of the cats, they need to locate the graves on the property where it is presumed that they had the animals during the last few years.