food crisis

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A couple walks by graffitis reading "We Are Hungry" and "Maduro Dictator" in Caracas on August 8, 2017. Recent demonstrations in Venezuela have stemmed from anger over the installation of an all-powerful Constituent Assembly that many see as a power grab by the unpopular President Nicolas Maduro. The dire economic situation also has stirred deep bitterness as people struggle with skyrocketing inflation and shortages of food and medicine. (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Venezuela authorities investigating numerous animal thefts from the Zulia Metropolitan Zoological Park in Maracaibo, Venezuela, suspect that the stolen zoo animals are being sold as food. “What we presume is that they [were taken] with the intention of eating them,” said Luis Morales of the National Police.

Reuters reports that at least ten species of animals including a buffalo, two wild boar-like collared peccaries, and two South American tapirs have gone missing from the zoo in the last two months. Zoo head Leonardo Nunez believes the buffalo was dismembered and cut into pieces before it was taken off-site, and according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the tapirs are vulnerable to extinction.

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