Institute for nature
conservation of Serbia

MИНИСТАРСТВО ПОЉОПРИВРЕДЕ И ЗАШТИТЕ ЖИВОТНЕ СРЕДИНЕ

The Ministry of Agriculture and
Environmental Protection

The venomous snakes and a scorpion successfully taken care of in the Zagreb Zoo

Four venomous snakes (1 x Bitis arietans, 2 x Crotalus atrox and 1 x Philodryas baroni), as well as one specimen of a scorpion (Androctonus australis) were successfully taken care of in the Zagreb Zoo in the Republic of Croatia on November 23rd, 2018. This was done in the joint action of the CITES Convention Implementation Group of the Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Department for the Control of the Protection and Use of Natural Resources and Fish Fund of the Secretariat for Urban Planning and Environmental Protection of Vojvodina Province, the Belgrade ZOO and the Palić ZOO, with an expert advice from Rastko Ajtić, herpetologist of the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia.

Some of these animals were seized and temporarily taken care of within the Belgrade ZOO, while the rest was from the collection of the Belgrade Zoo, where there were no longer adequate conditions for further keeping these animals in captivity. Measures of relocating venomous animals for the purpose of their further care abroad are often necessary, since antidotes against venomous animals that are not naturally distributed in the territory of the Republic of Serbia, such as rattle snakes, cobras, pit vipers, taipans and other species, are not available in the Republic of Serbia. This is the third time that the Ministry cooperates with the Zagreb ZOO in the taking care of these venomous species.

Keeping dangerous wildlife in the captivity, including all venomous snakes, has been banned in the Republic of Serbia since 2010, with certain conditional exemptions for zoos, shelters for wildlife and scientific-research institutions. In addition to venomous snakes, it is not allowed to hold primates, large beasts, crocodiles, and other dangerous species.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection appeals to citizens to inform the police or the environmental protection inspectorate without delay, if they find out about cases of illegal keeping dangerous wild animals in captivity.

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