Benoni Bunny Park volunteers locked out by the metro

Bunny Park volunteers will no longer have access to the park until construction at the facility has been concluded.

Tania Forrest-Smith, committee member of the Ward 27 environmental portfolio and founder of the Save the Bunny Park Animals group, said her group was locked out of the park on Monday, Benoni City Times reported.

She went to the park to feed the animals but found new locks on the gates to the facility.

According to Themba Gadebe, metro spokesperson, the park will be closed to almost everyone, including the volunteers, until the revamp is finished.

“From now until the end of construction in the park, only the veterinarians and SPCA officials will be allowed into the park on appointment,” Gadebe said.

“The city’s employees who work at the park will also be allowed in.”

Gadebe said this was due to the park being declared a construction site, where safety regulations dictated it must be clear while work continues.

The metro was asked why the volunteers were allowed into the park after construction started on March 1 but were prohibited now.

No comment regarding this was forthcoming on Thursday.

Phase two of the revamp project will end on June 30 next year. The metro did not say whether there would be a third phase or whether the park would be opened after phase two.

Forrest-Smith said a letter was sent to the metro regarding the lockout but no response was received.

All the animals were moved from the park by mid-May; while only the bunnies and several birds were left.

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Erik van Dijk

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