Haven animals safe and sound

19 May 2020 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected]
The economy has left more than one business in dire straits. But for the Haven Zoological Park in
Kleine Kuppe, it’s more than just that: The animals that are housed there were also facing an
uncertain future.
For Anta Mandy of the zoological park, the animals are a priority. “I never neglected them,” she said
in an emotional interview. This came after a post on social media spread like wild fire, alleging that
the Haven Zoological Park closed down and that the animals on the premises were dying.
According to the social media post, “… animals were transported in quite rough conditions to
NamBoer Auctioneers premises. We as volunteers tried our best to keep the animals fed (there is
not enough feed for all the species). If you ever considered to get guinea pigs, rabbits, decorative
chickens or beautiful doves, please help to buy them as many have died from the cold and stress,”
the social media post read.
However, Anta says it is simply not true that the animals were transported in rough conditions or
that they were dying.
According to her, NamBoer Auctioneers did assist with transporting the animals off the property in
Kleine Kuppe to house them at the auctioneers’ premises. “But it was because we had a couple of
break-ins during the lockdown. First tables and chairs were stolen. After that we noticed animals
disappearing. One night a cage was broken into and a lot of birds flew away,” she said tearfully.
She adds that although the lockdown broke the Haven Zoological Park’s back, the economy left her
struggling to stay afloat months before that already.
“I had no other option but to close my doors and move the animals. But it was definitely done in a
humane manner,” she says.
Since the animals were moved to NamBoer, most of the animals have been sold and thankfully, she
says from this income she was able to pay her staff and service providers.
Xico Coetzee invited Windhoek Express to the NamBoer premises to have a look at their setup,
where hay has been stacked between the cages in an effort to keep the cold at bay.
According to him, the animals were removed from Haven Zoological Park last Thursday afternoon
and Friday morning. “By close of business on Friday, we sold about 70% of the animals,” he said,
adding that the rest were sold on Monday and only a handful of marmots were still without homes.
“Yes, four marmots died due to the stress of moving,” both Xico and Anta admitted, but Xico noted
that those that didn't make it, were barely a week old. “All the other animals survived the
relocation.”
Xico, who grew up working with animals, says that is an unfortunate risk but that the animals were
handled with extreme care.
Anta had bought some of the animals from Xiko in the past and the company was willing to help her
during this ordeal.
She says her phone has been ringing off the hook since Sunday with accusations of her neglecting
her animals. “I am being bombarded with accusations, but no one phoned me to even ask if this was
true. I am deeply hurt,” she said.
Anta took over the Haven Zoological Park in August 2017 and had big plans to create an urban farm
where children and adults could find a place to relax and play. “In these difficult economic times,
people hold on to their every cent and entertainment is seen as a luxury. I feel I have failed in my
endeavour.”
NamBoer’s property was inspected by both the SPCA and the Cat Protection Society. The branch
manager of the SPCA, Sylvia Breitenstein, confirmed that an inspection was done and that they are
busy investigating the allegations.

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