the departure of the wild animals marks the end of the Orangerie zoo

[12h12] We move on to the file of the European Metropolitan Express Network (REM): it is time to launch the consultation prior to the development of the Strasbourg multimodal hub – Halles sector and rear station. Mayor Jeanne Barseghian proposes to give a favorable opinion to the deliberation which will be presented next week to the Eurometropolis Council. The speeches are expected to be numerous.

Jean-Philippe Vetter salutes the work of Jean Rottner and Robert Herrmann on the subject. “It’s not about forgetting the past. You are in a republican continuity ”. The elected official finds that the duration of the planned consultation – four weeks – is “short”. There is also the question of the back of the Place des Halles. And what about cinema?

Catherine Trautmann wonders about the operation of the planned multimodal hub behind Les Halles, preferring to reserve this term for what will be done behind the station. The former mayor of Strasbourg takes the opportunity to deliver a new charge against the policy of organizing travel seen by the ecological municipality, referring in particular to the connection of the future cycle ring to this hub.

Pierre Jakubowicz asks the question of the means, suspecting that the municipality will not have the means for its ambitions. The elected official is in favor of the requalification of the Halles sector, but refuses “to sign a blank check”. His group will abstain.

Joris Castiglione recalls that the Communists defend the development of mobility, he is in favor of “a price shock and a supply shock”. The elected official notes however several points of vigilance, relating in particular to the interconnection of the station and Halles hubs.

For the majority, Alain Jund answers. “We are going to be on an extremely important urban transformation (…) which will extend the city center and allow better living and breathing there”, affirms the elected official. He addresses the point of the negotiations with the SNCF, concerned in the first place: “We do not despair of advancing in the negotiations because the opening of the station to 360 degrees, we have been talking about it for a quarter of a century. The SNCF will have to give a boost. One of the objectives is to negotiate as quickly as possible to open up this sector”. What seems certain is that the station will eventually move from the status of “passing platform” to that of a real hub, with an opening to the west.

On the future of transport in Strasbourg, READ OUR ARTICLE

The speeches continue. Jeanne Barseghian recalls that this debate will mainly take place at the Eurometropolis Council.

[11h49] The administrative account is adopted with 49 votes for and 14 against.

[9h57] The council began with a tribute to Jean Waline, who died on June 23 in Strasbourg. Politician and professor of law, Jean Waline had been president of Robert-Schuman University from 1971 to 1976. He had been municipal councilor in Strasbourg from 1977 to 1983 and from 1989 to 1995, as well as general councilor of the 4th canton and vice – Chairman of the General Council from 1988 to 2008.

Patrick Wachsmann, the ethics officer.  DNA screenshot

Patrick Wachsmann, the ethics officer. DNA screenshot

This is followed by reading the voluminous agenda and the ethics officer’s report. Patrick Wachsmann takes advantage of his speech to appreciate the awareness of elected officials in terms of conflicts of interest, but regrets all the same that several elected members of the council, without mentioning their names, have not yet filed their declaration of assets. Recalling in passing that “100% of elected officials have done so in Paris”.

In the process, the elected officials examine the administrative account, one of the voluminous points of this day.

READ: Zoo animals will be gone by September

The Orangerie zoo will no longer be a zoo in September. The last wild animals still present must then have left their enclosure in the neighborhood where they were born. Like the pink flamingos, which flew away on April 29 for “another establishment” – as discreetly signaled by the panels that bloom on the gates of the deserted enclosures. Just like the two macaws, who left three days before them, as well as the four large tortoises who were the “stars of the zoo for children”, according to a caretaker from the Association des Amis du Zoo team.

If, on the side of the wildlife, it is the carnage, on the side of the five employees (three carers, a carer and a director-veterinarian), it is clearly gloomy: “We are too sad”, do not hide not one of them, struggling to contain her emotion. Hired for only three years, the two young women crossed this Thursday morning did not experience the great hours of this place which since 1903 has housed facilities and buildings assigned to a zoo. And which, since 1949, has been managed by this association, in return for an annual operating subsidy paid by the City.

Last occupants called to leave

Among the fauna that can still be “observed for free” – this was the argument of Roland Ries, the previous mayor, in order to continue his local activity despite everything -, there are still monkeys in particular. Thirteen Tonkean macaques – whose “breeding has been stopped for a long time” -, but also a pony, parakeets, two eagle owls, a couple of lemurs as well as a handful of mouflons and goats make up the bulk of the troops.

But the activity of the zoo is reduced to a trickle. “We wanted to at least accompany the animals until their end of life, they were born here and some feel really good here: we have a genet (Editor’s note: a species of spotted cat) which is 28 years old, while its duration life is on average twelve years”, says another employee.

The City has decided otherwise: a new deliberation will sign this Friday the death warrant of the zoo as such. The Association of Friends of the Zoo must therefore “collaborate in the implementation of the objectives of gradual departure of wild animals to lead to the transformation into a small educational animal park”.

“Ambivalent” feeling of walkers

The feeling, collected from the walkers met this Thursday, is “ambivalent”: “We are both sensitive to animal well-being and we appreciate the proximity, the fact of being able to almost ‘touch the finger’ of the species that we would never have seen in real life, ”supports a teacher from the Aristide-Briand high school, who came on an end-of-year outing with CAP students. Ditto for a teacher and her group of schoolchildren, from Morschwiller-le-Bas.

The fact remains that the departure of the wild animals “frees the four trainers from most of their activity”, notes the deliberation. The City will therefore support a one-off educational project (proposed by the association), until the end of the year, to “allow them to redirect their activities”. These are nine workshops led by trainers to “introduce the public to a different theme linked to the animal world and biodiversity”: such as “role and description of a feather”, “awareness of first aid injured wild animals”, “life cycle of a bird” or even “entertainment around the snack of goats, sheep and ponies”. Cost of this project: €44,858.

From the second half of 2022, for the animation of the educational animal park, “a call for projects will be launched and will be addressed to all the partners who wish to contribute to the renewal of the site”. And definitely turn the page on the zoo.

City Council Friday from 9 a.m.

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