Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup, investor of Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc, has denied allegations made by a zoo expert that 1,700 creatures died at the newly-opened park, saying the death toll was just 100.
Peter Dickinson, a British zoo consultant who runs a blog called Zoo News Digest, on Feb. 15 wrote on that blog that according to his contact, “most of the expat team” has left Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc after the deaths of more than 1,000 birds and nearly 700 mammals, including 20 giraffes.
“Deaths are attributed to parasites, disease, underfeeding and horrific accident,” Dickinson wrote.
In response, Vingroup said in a statement released on Sunday: “The information that the animal death toll at Vinpearl Safari hit thousands is completely untrue.”
The company said more than 100 creatures, including birds and animals, died as the result of long transportation process and their failure to adapt to the new environment in Phu Quoc, a southern resort island where the safari was opened late last year.
Vingroup also said the number of monkeys leaving the park was 135, not 500 as Dickinson claimed.
“135 small monkeys, each weighs between 150 grams and 200 grams, escaped the grid cages which had been designed for larger monkeys,” the company said in the statement.
In his blog, Dickinson also said two headhunting companies have approached him “with regard to a very senior role” in Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc, but he “did not follow up on the offers” because he is happy with his job in Dubai.
But news website Zing on Sunday quoted an unidentified representative from Vingroup as rejecting that information too.
Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc, the first safari park in Vietnam, has around 3,000 animals of 150 species imported from different parts around the world such as Bengal tiger, Arabian oryx, addax antelope and black-and-white ruffed lemur.
The 500-hectare park is divided into different areas, including the South America-Amazon, the Wild Africa, and the Night Safari.