MEXICO CITY, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Mexican officials seized a total of 4,186 animals from 58 zoos, following a year-long site inspection of 95 registered zoos around the country, the federal environmental protection agency (Profepa) said on Thursday.
The overwhelming majority of the species confiscated -- which included scarlet and green guacamayas (macaws), a Harris eagle, white-tailed deer, jaguar, tiger and hippo -- were seized because the zoo could not provide the paperwork showing how they legally acquired the animal, said Profepa.
The agency recommended zoos improve their system for "organizing and filing documents" to avoid having their animals confiscated.
While Mexican zoos largely comply with established regulations, the Profepa concluded, it will "now design a new zoo supervision program focused on the care and maintenance of priority species."
The welfare of wild animals in Mexico suddenly became an issue earlier this month after the unexpected death of Bantu, a beloved gorilla at Mexico City's Chapultepec Zoo.
His death from cardiopulmonary arrest came as a particular shock since he had been sedated prior to being transferred to another zoo to meet a potential mate. Revelations of other recent animal deaths soon surfaced.
But "the Profepa found that, in general, the country's zoos oversee the proper care and maintenance of the animals, as only 3 percent (133) of the seizures ... were caused by a lack of decent and respectful treatment," the agency said.