We are saddened by the news of three chimpanzees shot dead after an escape from their enclosure in Furuviksparken Zoo, Sweden. We firmly condemn the killing of these chimpanzees under human care.
The zoo management claims that shooting was the only solution. There should always be alternatives available. Zoo should have a plan, well understood by keepers and caregivers, that enables escaped chimpanzees to be persuaded to return to their enclosures without danger of harming other animals or humans.
It was also reported that the zoo did not have sufficient anaesthetic available to dart the chimpanzees. Zoos should always have enough tranquiliser available to avoid such tragedies. Shooting chimpanzees should only be a very last resort in case of imminent danger to others. From what we can assess, it is highly questionable that this was the case.
From the communications released by the Furuviksparken Zoo there is no clear explanation of the reasons that resulted in this horrible tragedy. We call for an in-depth investigation and evaluation by an independent organisation.