Ousted Kyrgyz leader kept exotic private menagerie

Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:17am EDT
 
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BISHKEK (Reuters Life!) - Investigators Tuesday said they discovered snow leopards, bear cubs and a golden eagle in the private zoo of the former Kyrgyz leader who fled the impoverished Central Asian country earlier this month.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev, accused by his opponents of plundering the country's economy, kept a menagerie in his home village that also included falcons, an ostrich, peacocks, swans and ducks, Kyrgyzstan's prosecutor general's office said.

"The prosecutors are considering measures to evacuate those animals for their protection," it said in a statement, after raiding Bakiyev's residence in his village.

The ex-Soviet state's former opposition seized power after the bloody protests on April 7 against Bakiyev's five-year rule left 85 people dead.

(Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov, editing by Paul Casciato)

 
<p>Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev talks to his supporters in Teyyit April 15, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov</p>