Elephant Starving In Zoo Is A Metaphor For Venezuela’s Food Crisis

A photo of a malnourished elephant in a Venezuelan zoo is making rounds on the internet, as it perfectly depicts the economic crisis the country is currently facing.

Venezuela is a facing an extreme economic crisis and human beings aren’t the only ones affected by it. An African elephant has become the latest symbol for the dire need of food in the country, as a photo of the malnourished animal has been making rounds on the internet.

The 46-year-old elephant named Ruperta in the Caricuao Zoo is seen standing with her skin sagging around her bony structure. Venezuelans have kicked off a food drive to save the mammal, which apparently has been living on squash for many days, resulting in dehydration and diarrhea.

According to, Román Camacho, a local reporter who initially brought Ruperta’s case into the limelight, the elephant had collapsed last week due to hunger and weakness. When images of her spread online, many people rushed to the zoo with food donations but were turned away.  “Workers are not allowed to receive donations, because while there are people with good feelings, there are others with bad intentions,” said zoo officials in a statement. But for some bizarre reason, they even refused cash donations that people put forward for the animals’ food.

The government is also trying to cover up Ruperta’s struggle by saying its sickness is due to a stomach ailment, and that she is supposed to be on a specific diet.

 “Ruperta the elephant is in stable condition and under the permanent care of experts,” Venezuela’s National Institute of Parks said.

But, none of these excuses are appealing to people around the world, especially Venezuelans who are experiencing the same conditions personally. In a country where people have no choice but to…

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