Jamaica Zoo has been ordered closed by the National Environment and Planning Agency, NEPA.

NEPA advised in a statement, that the Zoo has been ordered closed to the public effective today until the company complies with certain conditions cited in a Notice by the Agency.

Jamaica Zoo was served with a Notice of Intention to Suspend its Environmental Permit for the operation of a zoo earlier this week, during a meeting at NEPA’s office.

The Notice of Intention to Suspend identifies breaches of general condition and specific conditions. Among the conditions is a failure to ensure that staff members handling animals are properly trained.

It also found that Jamaica Zoo failed to account for species held and/or filing related reports or notifications.

Another breach identified was the failure to submit an animal nutrition and welfare programme and engaging competent technical skill-sets to assist with operations.

Director of the Legal and Enforcement Division at NEPA, Morjorn Wallock, says among other things, the company is required to engage competent technical skills to assist with the operations of the Zoo. 

It must also install satisfactory animal enclosures for the welfare of the animals and submit animal nutrition and welfare programmes.

The closure follows a recent incident where a lion at the facility ripped off the finger of a man at the Zoo described as a contractor.

The lion latched on to the finger of the man through a caged fence and there was a struggle between them.

The incident, which took place in full view of shocked patrons, occurred after the man repeatedly taunted the animal in an apparent effort to get it to roar.