Turkish zoo staff allegedly made wolves fight with bear for a 'bet'

An environmental association has claimed that employees of the Kayseri Zoo have been organizing barbarous bets in which they make wolves fight with a bear. The Kayseri Municipality has denied allegations saying that wolves were caged next to the bear and that they sometimes pass to the side of the bear by creating below-ground passages.

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Turkey's Natural Life Protection Association (DHKD) has said that employees of a zoo in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri have set 16 wolves on a caged bear to see who would win “in a bet,” daily Birgün reported on Oct. 14.

DHKD president Mehmet Yakuter said that there is video footage proving the incident.

“Upon a denunciation, it has been seen that 16 wolves have been set on a bear. It is obvious that they have tried to make the relevant animals fight with these wolves. We believe that dog fighting bet is common in the Central Anatolian region and Kayseri,” Yakuter said. 

“It is for this reason that we believe the Kayseri Zoo employees, municipality officials undertook this action, in order to assault and torture a bear by making a bet [among each other]. We have conveyed the issue directly to Kayseri Mayor Memduh Büyükkılıç,” he said.

The head of the Environment Protection department of the Kayseri Municipality, Buket Ergin, refuted the allegations, labeling the accusations as “complete fiction.”

Ergin said that 21 wolfcubs were caged just next to the bear, and sometimes the wolves dig in the ground and pass to the side of the bear, despite the existence of electrical wires. She said that the allegations of the zoo employees making bets on fights between animals were completely untrue.