Menelaos Menelaus, commonly known as "Melios," has spoken out about the presence of two bears discovered on his premises, which used to operate as a zoo.
In an interview with OMEGA, Mr. Menelaus asserted that the bears have resided on his property for five years. He stated, "The place has undergone repeated inspections by veterinary officials, and I have received no adverse comments regarding the animals' well-being. It's a spacious environment for them, complete with a pond, toys, and a cave. They live contentedly."
Simultaneously, he maintained that he possesses all the necessary documentation, which he is prepared to present in court if requested.
The bears came to the authorities' attention when a veterinary officer from the Nicosia district office responded to complaints received by the Veterinary Services.
Christodoulos Pipis, the Director of Veterinary Services, revealed that on three separate occasions, Mr. Menelaus was asked to provide permits for the bears but offered various excuses, including a lack of time and the unavailability of the individual responsible for these documents.
Mr. Pipis characterized this behavior as the owner's customary approach, marked by non-cooperation with the services and prior convictions for unlawful animal detention and law violations. It was noted that the establishment in question lacks both a zoo license and a dealer/business license.
The Veterinary Services filed a complaint with the Police, who will appoint an investigator and gather statements. Additionally, the Legal Service has been tasked with initiating legal proceedings against the owner, seeking a court order prohibiting him from housing animals on his premises due to alleged legislative violations. The Parliament was informed of this matter on September 16.
As of now, the bears remain at the same location. The owner will be requested once more to furnish the required permits. If he fails to comply, further steps and methods for relocating the bears will be considered. Mr. Pipis emphasized the complexities of this task, given the wild nature of the animals, and emphasized that a thorough assessment of their origin, species, and health status must be undertaken before any potential move to a zoo.