Controversial zookeeper Anton Rea Cutajar has publicly apologised to new Animal Rights Commissioner over a now-deleted video in which he warned he’ll seek to get her fired from her new role.
Cutajar, the owner of Siġġiewi’s L-Arka ta’ Noe Zoo, faced heavy flak for his video, in which he claimed Alison Bezzina was inexperienced and questioned how Maltese she actually is after the Commissioner came out against zoos.
At one point, he warned he’s ready to “write a letter to who I need to” to get her fired if she keeps on speaking out against zoos.
However, he has now apologised for his rant and said he’s ready to work with Bezzina for the sake of animal welfare in Malta.
Cutajar denied that his ‘letter’ warning was a suggestion that he’ll use his political influence within the Labour Party to get rid of Bezzina, insisting he actually meant he was ready to complain to the EU about her lack of experience for the role.
“In my opinion, an animal commissioner must be more experienced in the sector and not just be an animal lover. She could have been Labour or Nationalist.”
“But that is my opinion. I would like to publicly apologise and I’m ready to help her for the sake of animal welfare. I have vast experience in exotic animal welfare and I believe I can lend advice.”
Cutajar said he was riled up after “suffering attacks from all quarters” in recent days, particularly allegations that he had sedated his tiger cubs.
“Name me one parent who won’t feel emotional when they accuse him of giving drugs to his children. I consider my animals to be my children, and all animal owners can understand what I’m saying, regardless whether you agree with zoos or not.”
Cutajar’s rant was heavily criticised, with Opposition leader Bernard Grech urging Prime Minister Robert Abela to publicly disassociate himself from these comments, the Prime Minister’s wife Lydia Abela criticising him, and former Alternattiva Demokratika leader Arnold Cassola reporting him to the police.
What do you make of Anton Rea Cutajar’s apology?