PA set to regularise illegal zoo against €10,000 fine

Planning Commissions indicates it will regularise illegally developed Serengeti zoo in Rabat after it imposes a fine

The illegal Serengeti zoo in Rabat is set to be regularised after the imposition of a €10,000 fine
The illegal Serengeti zoo in Rabat is set to be regularised after the imposition of a €10,000 fine

The Planning Commission has indicated its intention regularise the illegally developed Serengeti zoo in Triq Had Dingli, Rabat, against a fine of €10,000.

The application presented by Serengeti Animal Park Limited envisages the sanctioning of four large cages for the keeping of eight tigers, three jaguars, three leopards and three lions covering a total footprint of approximately 750 sq.m.

The cages vary in height, with the larger cage having a height between 4m to 6.4m, and the smaller cages between 3.2m to 3.9m.

Aerial shots of the zoo area in Rabat in 2012 and 2018
Aerial shots of the zoo area in Rabat in 2012 and 2018

The Planning Directorate was recommending a refusal due to objections made by the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage on illegal works carried out on the walls of an ancient quarry, but the commission has now deferred the final decision to 14 June after noting that these interventions were “minimal”.

The Commission has asked the case officer to prepare conditions for approval including a €10,000 fine.

The Environment and Resources Authority had also “strongly” objected noting that most of the area has been cleared from soil and replaced with hard 
landscaping. ERA had even presented aerial photos documenting the extensive changes to the site made between 1998 and 2018.

The Superintendent of Cultural Heritage (SCH) had objected to the proposal due to recent excavation within the walls of the ancient quarry.

The applicant is registered with the Veterinary Regulation Division as a “dangerous animal keeper” and the animals are covered by veterinary permits.

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