Kumtor Company has contributed US $75,000 to the Karakol Zoo in sponsorships for 2014. The money is supposed to be used to build the fence, and the Zoo’s administration has started buying building materials.
“We are very grateful to Kumtor for support. The Zoo needs badly a new fence as the old one in some parts is in a ramshackle state and there’s no fence at all in others – a situation which endangers both the city public and the Zoo’s animals,” said Saltanat Seitova, the Zoo Director.
The gold producer has also helped the Zoo provide its personnel with working clothes, hire an environmental education expert, purchase feed containers, order grain crusher, hay cutter, and concrete mixer. The sponsorship will also be partly used to settle issues relating to payment of salaries, social allowances and other operating expenses.
“Kumtor has always regarded and will regard environmental issues as its priority. We were happy to lend a helping hand when our old friends asked us for help. Moreover, many of the mine’s employees are residents of Karakol and I’m sure will be delighted to hear the news,” said Michael Fischer, the President of Kumtor Company.
Founded in 1987, the Karakol Zoo is the single one in Kyrgyzstan. It keeps 140 animals representing more than 30 species, including brown bears, wolves, Przewalski horses, ibexes, wild boars, lynxes, foxes, Japanese macaques, etc. The Zoo’s total area is 7.8 hectares of which only 3 hectares have been developed so far. The Zoo earns a small income from entry tickets but it’s not sufficient to pay labor, taxes and current expenses. At present, the KR State Agency for the Environment and Forestry provides assistance with feed and Germany’s NABU supports animals that are on the KR list of endangered species.