Park boss hits back at cruelty jibe

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KNOWSLEY Safari Park has been inundated with a mixture of support and abuse since their former press photographer released a string of distressing images of dead animals.

The images, taken by Penny Boyd between April and August last year, included pictures of rotting animal carcasses and a monkey kept alone in a cramped cage.

A Knowsley Council and Merseyside Police investigation subsequently found that the park had breached carcass disposal regulations.

But, among the messages posted on the safari park’s Facebook “wall” this week was one from Amanda Senior which read: “My four-year-old son loves KSP. I use KSP as a tool to teach him right from wrong about animal welfare and, although I am distressed about reports in the media, I would not dream of cutting off my nose to spite my face.”

Another, from Ruth Goode, read: “I love KSP and fully support them all the way.”

But another, from Tracy Brereton, read: “A full admission of responsibility, a forward plan for the future and a full apology needs to be issued by KSP.

“It’s not happened so far and I doubt it ever will. By not doing this they have only highlighted their own negligence.”

Knowsley Safari Park general manager David Ross reiterated to the St Helens Reporter that many of the allegations levelled by the park’s former press photographer Penny Boyd were “completely untrue”.

He refuted allegations that the park’s keepers regularly culled surplus animals, pointing to the fact that 190 animals - including Pere David’s Deer, Fallow Deer, Axis Deer, Nilgai, Red Lechwe and Blackbuck - had been successfully rehomed since last April.

Mr Ross also claimed that the dead baboon snapped stuffed in a bin bag was infanticidal - having killed two young baboons - and was humanely killed before being taken to the storage area for collection.

He added: “We would like to thank all for the messages of support we have received.”