Theme Park Under Fire for Animal Cruelty Following String of Giraffe Deaths
A theme park's treatment of its safari animals is so bad that the government is getting involved.
Taiwan News reports that animal welfare organizations have requested local authorities ban Leofoo Village Theme Park in Guanxi Township, Taiwan, from importing giraffes following several deaths of the tall creatures.
Three animal welfare organizations — Taiwan Animal Equality Association, Life Conservationist Association and AnimalSkies — held a press event on March 22 to discuss the Hsinchu County theme park's frequent giraffe deaths and plans to import more animals.
They alleged that at least eight giraffes have died over the last decade at the location due to poor care. The majority of giraffes died before reaching the age of 10, which is younger than the animals' expected lifespan of 26 in the wild and slightly longer than their expected lifespan in captivity.
Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Tsai Pi-ru attended the event, where she promised that she would "push for a review of the Wildlife Conservation Act."
The most recent incident took place in January 2022. A female giraffe named Pudding died at age 15 from enterotoxemia brought on by a bacterial infection.
The official causes of death for some of the park's other giraffes have ranged from eating a plastic bag to inbreeding; trauma from falling; and parasitic infection.
According to Leofoo Village Theme Park's website, the travel attraction is described as "The First Fantasy World in Asia that Combines both Amusement Park and Safari." The park gives visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the animals, including the giraffes.
However, according to the animal welfare organizations, the giraffes are constantly forced to perform and endure poor living conditions, dismal feeding practices (some of which involve guests) and constant breeding despite spacial constraints.
Animal activists are now calling for officials in Taiwan to block the theme park's application to import three new giraffes from Mexico.
At the time of this article's publication, the government has not made an official decision regarding the theme park's operations.