Government doubles the budget of the National Zoo after change of administration

Government doubles the budget of the National Zoo after change of administration

The Government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo increased by 143% the budget item that will receive the National Zoo of Nicaragua during the year 2023. This is the largest increase that this institution has received in the last decade and occurs after the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Marena) took possession of its administration, at the request of the Friends of the Nicaraguan Zoo Foundation (Fazoonic).

The zoo will receive about 14.6 million córdobasaccording to Annual Law of the General Budget of the Republic 2023. This amount represents an increase of 8.6 million córdobas compared to 2022, when they budgeted six million córdobas.

A review of CONFIDENTIALto the budget execution reports from 2013 to September 2022, reveals that during that period, Fazoonic —who managed the Zoo since 1997— received between 4.4 and six million córdobas each year. Which forced them to seek resources and donations for the subsistence of the zoo.

Calls for donations have become more common since 2018 because the sociopolitical crisis of that year caused a drastic reduction in visits to the zoo. As the administrators explained, this was one of the the main sources to guarantee food of the 800 animals that make it up.

In 2020, with the arrival of the covid-19 pandemic, they again requested help for the same cause. As the administrators then explained to the newspaper La Prensa, only the cost of feeding the animals amounted to about 28,000 córdobas per week in fruits and 56,000 in the purchase of concentrate every fortnight.

According to the budget execution report, as of September 2022, Fazoonic had executed 4.4 million córdobas of the assigned item this year. The remaining 1.6 million would be used in the last quarter of the year; however, since November Marena is in charge of administration.

The change of administration

In mid-October, Marina Argüello and Eduardo Sacasa, directors of Fazoonic, informed through a statement and a video posted on their Facebook page, that They would leave the administration of the zoo for “health reasons”. As they emphasized, this was a “very ours” decision.

They clarified that the government has not confiscated the place, as some local media have published, and rather, it has supported them through an annual budget item. The clarification was necessary because during that year, the Ortega government closed more than 2,900 associations and foundations, most of which developed social projects.

“We are concluding one of the most important stages of our lives. We leave the zoo with our heads held high, leaving a great legacy to the new generations., with a job of 25 years, where we give ourselves with all our affection, with all our love, giving the best we could to our fauna. We have fulfilled our Nicaragua, our environment and our mother earth”, said Sacasa, veterinarian and director of the Zoo.

Argüello assured that they will continue giving consultancies and talks about wildlifeand thanked all Nicaraguans for their support during this time of work.

Marena has already appointed a new director

On November 10, the National Assembly approved the Law for the Creation of the National Zoological Park, which turned it into a national park administered by Marena. The new director is Yuri Aguirre.

According to the initiative, this new management category for the zoo “will make it possible to invest in infrastructure, improve the quality of life, care, protection, and reproduction of the fauna that is currently in the place, and encourage tourism, a rescue center, and scientific research.” in the place”.

The National Zoo was born in 1978 as a private entity with the name of “Parque Banic“”. In 1979, with the Sandinista revolution, it became part of the State, although since 1997 it had been in charge of Fazoonic.

The Foundation has worked for the conservation, research and education of the fauna in Nicaragua through the zoo, the reproduction center and the rescue center, which has allowed the rehabilitation of several species, which have been reinserted into their natural habitat.

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