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6 of the saddest zoos in the world

By: Shea Gunther on May 16, 2011, 11:44 a.m.
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Tirana Zoo

The zoo in Tirana, Albania, is better described as an animal prison — most of its residents are kept in small, featureless rooms lined with hospital tiles. Monkeys sit sadly in their cells, eagles cling to inadequate perches, and bears pace in chain-link cages far too small for their size. As photographer Paul Cohn writes in a Flickr caption, "[T]he staff have put up chain-link fence and mesh fence to keep people from throwing food and cigarettes into the cages, or sticking their fingers in to touch the animals. Visitors have tried to vandalize the fencing nonetheless."

And since there aren't many other zoos in Albania, the Tirana Zoo reportedly has a hard time finding qualified staff and is grossly underfunded.