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'Noah's Ark hell' travelling zoo investigated as 'dying animals left to starve and scream in agony during the night'; Locals claim the foul stench of the zoo can be picked up from 350 FEET away - and shocking pictures have outraged animal rights activists.

Byline: Will Stewart

A travelling zoo described as "hell" is being investigated by Russian prosecutors amid reports of animals screaming in pain and dying in sweltering heat.

Pictures have emerged of Noah's Ark, in Ryazan, a city 125 miles southeast of Moscow, which is set to host the World Cup final.

Animal rights activists claim some of the 40 species in the show are deprived of water in summer temperatures of 30C.

And locals claim the foul stench of the zoo can be picked up from 350 FEET away.

Some animals are held in cramped cages and others are left to roast in the daytime heat.

One campaigner said: "It's hell in Noah's Ark. The first thing you feel is a terrible smell.

"A volunteer walked inside and immediately saw a foal lying motionless on the tarmac under direct sun.

"A camel and lama are also lying face down.

"The animals are obviously in a critical condition - they are hot. They have no single source of water.

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"The camel had to take a wee right under its body."

The report continued: "Animals are suffering from heat.

"Big predators like tigers and lions are hardly breathing, with their tongues out.

"There is no way to cool down for them, no water at all.

"The iron cages are getting hotter and hotter under the sun.

"Two very large bears are lying in a mess with their tongues out.

"This is a mixture of their urine, excrements and their last poor meal -- tomatoes.

"It is not clear how it is possible to clean up their small cage, as there is no other extra cage where they can be kept during cleaning.

"The smell -- there are no words to describe this smell."

A Canadian wolf is kept in a cage 6ft by 6ft, reported the activists.

Some animals monotonously rock backwards and forwards, and a "blind" leopard was seen walking in endless circles in its cramped conditions.

The report also claims wolves and monkeys are treated in similarly poor fashion.

It says: "A fat monkey is in the next cage, sitting in remains of rotting fruit and pastry," they reported.

"For 100 roubles ([pounds sterling]1.20) it is possible to buy a treat for animals - exactly this mixture of fruit and pastry.

"It is probably this monkey's only food. Its health is raising concerns.

"Birds in the next cage -- peacocks and hens -- have no chance to fly or move around properly."

The conditions in Ryazan - close to major Europa shopping mall - are in stark contrast to advertising pictures from the travelling zoo, which visits towns and cities around Russia.

While Noah's Ark's own pictures show the animals looking more healthy, the cramped conditions are evident.

Yet a sign reads: "The lives of the human being and animal are equal, take care of animals."

The zoo boasts: "You can see more than 40 species of animals.

"A little foal is walking around the zoo with his mother.

"A camel is warming up under the sun and a lama walks next to him.

"Animals are very friendly and love attention, you can safely feed them with carrots or cabbages.

"Bears, panthers, lions, tigers and wolves are in their cages.

"We even have couples, for example, a lion and lioness with a little cub who is less than one month old.

"We have got rare predators too -- you can see an albino tiger and also an offspring of a lion and a tiger.

"You can see and cuddle guinea pigs, rabbits, watch snakes and turtles."

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The state prosecutor's office in Ryazan said it had launched checks into Noah's Ark based on a flood of complaints including those referring to "screams" of distressed animals at night.

But zoo administrator Rudik Avagimov claimed there was no problem.

He said: "All is fine with the animals, they have the biggest cages in Russia.

"The bear has a cage of 28 square metres (300 square feet).

"The camels do drink, they are double humped and both humps are up.

"We have passed all veterinary control tests."

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Credit: east2west news

But shocking pictures of neglect like this have left people outraged

Credit: east2west news

Two exhausted bears collapsed in a heap in a cage littered with tomatoes

Credit: east2west news

The bear looks exhausted as it bakes in the heat of the small cage

Credit: east2west news

A small foal can't muster the energy to move

Credit: east2west news

Animals can be seen stretched out in their own waste

Credit: east2west news

More cramped conditions in the tiny iron cages

Credit: east2west news

Another animal in its own waste. It looks too tired to move
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Title Annotation:News,World news
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Jul 6, 2018
Words:801
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