Berlin zoo is under pressure to explain the fate of hundreds of its animals which allegedly have disappeared without trace amid accusations that they have been slaughtered and in some cases turned into potency-boosting drugs.
Claudia Hämmerling, a Green party politician, backed by several animal rights organisations, alleges that the zoo's director, Bernhard Blaszkiewitz, sold the animals to traders.
She claims to hold evidence on four Asian black bears and a hippopotamus, which were taken from Berlin, officially to go to a new home. They were transported to the Belgian town of Wortel, which has no zoo, but which does have an abattoir.
According to Hämmerling these animals were slaughtered at the abattoir. She said the systematic "overproduction of animals" at zoos, designed to attract more visitors, was to blame.
Hämmerling said she also knew of several tigers and leopards
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