Eddine Ariztegui, in charge of animal welfare and the zoo, gives an update on the current state of the zoo rehabilitation project.
A dismissed director, a reassigned veterinarian, what is happening at the Montpellier zoo?
Several changes are being made across the municipality. The zoo is not a special case. Recruitment is in progress. The offer has been published, the jury has not yet met. As for the director, Luc Gomel, a scientific mission in line with his skills has been entrusted to him.
What is the status of the municipal zoo rehabilitation project?
30 M€ were voted for the zoo, 5 M€ for the wildlife hospital on the site. We launched the project management assistance market to make concrete proposals. We will then arbitrate. I want a win-win 21st century zoo for both humans, through discovery, and animals. This goes through the Wildlife Hospital that we want to create in partnership with the veterinarian Marie-Pierre Puech. We launched a market study to define the exact location. We will be able to take care of the local animals to release them and keep the others. It will be a pedagogical tool and will allow the distilling of values and good practices.
We also want to develop a shelter for farm animals and trafficked animals. The latter have often been mistreated and they require specific infrastructures and personnel to deal with them. This project is under study.
Third point: the creation of meta-enclosures with different species that can cohabit. This allows for larger interactions and enclosures to improve their quality of life. We will also study the digital aspect and many other things.
We deviate from the vision of the traditional zoo with tigers, lions, giraffes…
The wild animals are already there, the idea is not to make them leave. We want to drive reforms to offer new activities for the benefit of animals.
Where is the Grand Lunaret project, which is to link the banks of the Lez, the Bois de Montmaur…
Another study firm will be appointed a little later to think about this development.
When will closed spaces reopen?
There have always been closed spaces at Lunaret Zoo.
What about the Amazonian Greenhouse: is a reopening possible with the imperatives of energy sobriety?
We are awaiting the proposal of the study firm to arbitrate on its future. There are tracks but nothing is recorded. A priori, it would be without animals. The energy cost is significant, in terms of water consumption also for aquatic animals. It will be necessary to study the future of the greenhouse.
The calendar ?
The start of the works is for 2023 but they will extend beyond.