Polidano’s Fiera l-Kbira advertised illegal animal park ‘by mistake’

The Montekristo Estate animal park might be illegal, but that hasn't stopped Charles Polidano from advertising it as an attraction for his Fiera l-Kbira

Polidano’s Fiera l-Kbira advertised illegal animal park ‘by mistake’
Polidano’s Fiera l-Kbira advertised illegal animal park ‘by mistake’

The animal park at Montekristo Estate is illegal but this did not stop construction magnate Charles Polidano from advertising it as an attraction for his Fiera l-Kbira.

In leaflets promoting the trade fair at Montekristo, people were told they can enter the animal park at a discounted price despite the zoo having been shut down by the authorities.

It now transpires that the advert for the animal park in the leaflet that was distributed to households was put there “by mistake”, according to the company lawyer.

Jean Paul Sammut insisted the animal park was closed, when contacted by MaltaToday for an explanation.

“The advert for the animal park was a mistake. It [the animal park] is closed,” he said. Sammut kept repeating that the park was closed when asked whether any people had been allowed to enter since the fair opened last Thursday.

The promotion leaflet which was distributed across the island advertises the special offer related to the illegal animal park at Montekristo Estate
The promotion leaflet which was distributed across the island advertises the special offer related to the illegal animal park at Montekristo Estate

The Fiera l-Kbira is in its fifth edition and will come to an end on Sunday. The leaflet advertised entry into the animal park at a discounted price of €2.50 for adults, instead of €5.

A Planning Authority spokesperson confirmed with MaltaToday that the animal park is illegal and cannot be opened to the public.

The zoo was shut and sealed by the PA three years ago after a tiger lashed out at a five-year-old boy, leaving him with grievous injuries to his face. The animal park remains unlicensed.

Efforts since then to relocate the wild animals to foreign zoos proved futile.

Last year, Polidano, known as iċ-Ċaqnu, was charged in front of Magistrate Joe Mifsud over the 2015 incident and accused of running an unlicensed zoo and keeping wild animals not allowed in Malta.

The two handlers, who were keeping the tiger on a leash when the incident happened were also charged. The three men pleaded not guilty. The case is ongoing.

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