MUSAWA’s Statement Regarding a Child’s Tragic Death at the Khan Yunis Zoo

2023-05-02

Gaza

Gaza / Core Program / position paper

The tragedy that took the life of a 6-year-old child at a zoo in Khan Yunis yesterday, Monday, May 1st, when he was bitten by a lion. This is a case of poor management, and those responsible must be held accountable.

Visitor safety and security, especially in regards to the infrastructure and the location of animal cages (especially the predatory ones), and other engineering and construction requirements. These requirements that are intended to secure the highest levels of physical and psychological safety for the visitors, particularly children, have been disregarded by the "Asdaa" zoo board of directors, who are responsible for the zoo's management and supervision, as well as the municipality and the government action follow-up committee, that are the official bodies responsible for the zoo's supervision and inspection to ensure it operates in accordance with the provisions of the law and meets the security and safety requirements in zoos. It also highlights the community culture’s failure to educate families and the general public about the procedures for dealing with animals and the park facilities in general. The utter disregard for the basic needs of zoos and the incompetence with which they have been managed necessitates administrative and penal accountability, as well as compensation. However, MUSAWA stresses that you cannot put a price on life as no amount of money can compensate for the loss of life.

MUSAWA-The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession- demands the formation of an impartial investigation committee that is separate from the official department responsible for monitoring the zoo's administration. The investigation should focus not only on the circumstances surrounding the child's death, but also on the administrative and work requirements of the zoo as a whole. Those responsible for this tragedy should be held accountable, and the zoo should be closed until it is safe to receive visitors. There is also a need to raise community awareness about the requirements for dealing with animals and zoo facilities, as this tragic accident should not be overlooked, particularly seeing as it resulted in the death of a child, whose best interests must be considered and protected by all parties.

First and foremost, wild animals belong in the wild, not in cages, as entertainment venues can find alternative means of amusement that do not involve confining animals in prison-like conditions with all the associated risks.

MUSAWA commits to the principle that the human dignity of children and their families forbids the sharing of sensitive images that compromise their dignity and endanger their physical and psychological integrity.

 

02/05/2023

MUSAWA

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