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JHB Zoo: PWC to investigate antelope issue

The JHB Zoo has appointed PWC to probe the importing of 8 antelope without clearance.

Eight antelope imported from Prague Zoo in Czech Republic had to be put down to avoid disease threat. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg Zoo says it has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to conduct an investigation into who is responsible for eight antelope imported two weeks ago without the necessary clearance certificates.

The antelope had to be put down after arriving from Prague, Czech Republic because they did not have a medical clearance certificate.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has suspended the zoo from importing other animals until an investigation has been completed.

The zoo says the animals were arranged by a private breeder and they were only there to provide quarantine facilities when the animals arrived.

Johannesburg Zoo spokesperson Jenny Moodley says the vet, who had been involved in the transaction, is on leave.

"When we approached them in Prague, they hadn't been forthcoming with this information. This is all going to form part of the investigation by PWC. We basically believe that at this stage we cannot make a decision or hold any of our officials accountable."

At the same time the zoo says feels let down by AZA, who they feel prematurely imposed the temporary suspension.

This suspension will last until the conclusion of an investigation instituted by the association.

But the zoo says although they were involved in the process and had acquired all the necessary documents and permits, the antelope were for a private owner.

Moodley says, "We're disappointed with the body. They should have afforded us an opportunity to ensure that the PWC investigation has been concluded. If anything, they should have assisted in putting pressure on the Prague Zoo to provide us with this information."