Just last week Addis Ababa deputy mayor Takelle Uma Banti fired Addis Ababa’s Lion Park (አንበሳ ግቢ) Administrator Doctor Mussie Kiflom. The firing came right after the mayor’s visit to witness the condition of the animals kept at the park following an allegation of mismanagement by the park administrators.
I visited the famed Anbesa Gibi (Lion’s Zoo) to talk to the staff, and check on the status of the zoo’s expansion and renovation project. I also met with neighbors who’re bitten by a monkey that recently escaped. We regret the incident. The City will cover their medical expenses. pic.twitter.com/WAKYAsfIfU— Takele Uma Banti (@TakeleUma) August 30, 2018
Anbessa Gebi which is home to several animal species including lions, monkeys, kudus, and tortoise was going through a renovation for the past three years. In a news featured by ETV, the zoo which was closed for nearly three years due to renovation faced strong criticism following the death of six lions in the past 18 months alone. According to Addis Ababa University History department lecturer Ato Abebaw Ayalew, among the six lions who died in the past 18 months, only one relates to aging. Ato Abebaw relates the death of the lions to food scarcity and lack of medical support.
Another major factor that was raised in the mismanagement of the parks relates to the slow progress of the renovation. The government allocated 28 million Birr to complete the park renovation in a one-year timeline but it has already been delayed to three years and only 21% is completed. The contractors blame the park’s administrator for payment delays and not relocating the animals to carry out the expansion.
Dr. Mussie, Administrator of the park who was recently forced to resign rejects the claim that the lions died due to starvation in response to the claim by local residents about the absence of meat delivering cars. The Dr. responds by mentioning the eating pattern, how it has changed from the past due to the park’s administrator scientific approach to their meal schedule. Currently, there are 10 lions and lioness at the park. Below, their names are attached as follows;
Liyesh Terefe – Lioness
Senait Woreq- Lioness
Solomon Tenqer- Lion
Mekonen Tegafaw- Lion
Berqeye Tenqer- Lioness
Qenenisa Worequ- Lion
Haile Worequ- Lion
Meseret Worequ- Lioness
Terenush Qagnaw- Lioness
Ejigayew Qayenew- Lioness