A photo of a baboon at the Zagazig zoo in Egypt that reportedly had its feet eaten by its fellow zoo animals has gone viral, sparking outrage on Egyptian social media.
According to Cairo Post, Miss Assnaa, the user who posted the photo on Facebook, said, “Due to extreme hunger, some animals starved to death, and others have eaten each other."
An eyewitness at the zoo said that the group of baboons turned on the cage mate, alleging that the zoo employees refused to feed the animals until visitors gave them money. The eyewitness also said there was no medical care or cleaning for the animals.
Zoo director Ayman Lotfi denied the claims, saying the baboon was separated because he injured himself after he flew into a rage when his pregnant mate abandoned him. Lotfi said the zoo's intention was to protect the baby baboon.
Egyptian zoos have become notorious for neglect and poor conditions, with the Giza zoo being one of the most well known cases. NewEurope reports that in 2013, a giraffe committed suicide because of mental issues, while three black bears died in what workers at the zoo called a "bear riot."
Once one of the world's premier zoos, the Giza zoo lost its certification from the World Association of Zoos And Aquariums in 2004, although Egypt's agricultural ministry announced this year that there are plans in place to meet WAZA's standards and regain certification.
In February 2015, the blog Egyptian Streets reported on Giza zoo employees abusing animals, such as an African elephant who was hit repeatedly with a metal rod until it posed with zoo visitors who gave an employee money.
The blog also said animals' cages were cramped and filled with trash, including a monkey pit that was filled with cans, wrappers and used diapers.
Egyptian Streets attempted to interview the zoo's director, but was told by the zoo's administration that it could not do so without completing multiple bureaucratic steps, including sending an application to the agriculture ministry.