Government officials in Colombia have come under fire on social media after they ‘rescued’ dozens of marine fish and invertebrates from a luxury shopping mall in Bogotá — and then killed them a week later after realising they had nowhere to put them.
Local residents and conservation groups have accused the mayor’s office of acting recklessly and inhumanely after it confirmed that city government officials had decided to destroy the 40 non-native animals because they posed an environmental risk, reports Fusion.
The stock included clownfish, mandarins, tangs, angels, cardinals and, anemones and cleaner shrimp.
They were confiscated after an alert was issued by conservation group Movimiento Ambientalista over a bamboo shark living in poor conditions in one of the display tanks at Atlantis Plaza. Officials determined that the mall didn’t have the permits required for the importation or exhibition of the animals.
“Death doesn’t have to be the only alternative after confiscation,” said Camilo Prieto, director of Movimiento Ambientalista. “We made a huge effort to save these fish and the city government never listened to us. He added that after the fish were confiscated his group scrambled to arrange a new home for the fish, but they were ignored. “What happened was a disgrace,” he added.