Berlin Zoo Accused of Selling Animals for Slaughter

Politician says director sold hippo, bear family
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2008 2:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – A German politician has filed a criminal complaint against the director of the Berlin Zoo, accusing him of selling animals for slaughter, Der Spiegel reports. The complaint cites examples of a hippopotamus and a family of bears allegedly sold in Belgium. Bernhard Blaszkiewitz vehemently denied the accusations, which he described as a blend of “misunderstandings and nonsense.”

Blaszkiewitz said in both cases the animals in question were sold legitimately to reputable dealers of exotic animals. He said that Claudia Hämmerling, the Berlin state assemblywoman behind the allegations, was smearing him for political gain. The Berlin public prosecutor’s office has said it will look into Hämmerling’s accusations to see whether a full investigation is warranted.