Circus animals held at border crossing

Mar. 26, 2011 (United Press International) -- A group of exotic animals headed for a Russian circus were held up at the border between Belarus and Poland due to a paperwork problem, the circus manager said.

The animals include a giraffe, two antelopes, three zebras and a llama, RIA Novosti reported. The Russian State Circus or Rosgostsirk bought them in Germany for the Nizhny Novgorod Circus.

Rosgostsirk General Director Sergei Nesterov said the animals are missing proof they have received an injection against viral diarrhea. Otherwise, he said, their paperwork is in order.

"Of course, this is my fault that I didn't check, but this is diarrhea, it's not hoof and mouth disease or the plague, the disease isn't dangerous or deadly and besides the animals will be in the circus the whole time and will most likely never become infected," Nesterov said.

Nesterov talked to RIA by phone from the Kozlovichi checkpoint, where the animals were in trucks. He said he was concerned about dwindling supplies of food for them and of fuel to heat the trucks, and their inability to get exercise.


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