The Langenberg wildlife park in Langnau am Albis, south of the city of Zurich, touts itself as a place where visitors can get close to nature.
But revelations about items on the menu at the park’s restaurant sparked an outcry.
“Is this not an April Fool’s joke?” online news site Der Landbote this week quoted a visitor saying after noticing deer from the park on the bill of fare.
“I can hardly believe it, this surprised me very much.”
Martin Kilchenmann, spokesman for the park, confirmed to the newspaper that guests at the restaurant can eat meat from the park’s animals.
But he said the use of the meat was “very ecological” and shows visitors the animals’ “natural cycle”.
Every year around 100 animals are born in the park but because of space restrictions not all of them can remain.
If the animals cannot be placed elsewhere they are killed and many are used by the restaurant.
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Kilchenmann said 49 deer and 10 wild boar were shot in the wildlife park in 2012 and “recycled” for human consumption, Der Landbote reported.
“I am shocked,” said Ruth Widmer, president of the local animal protection association, who said efforts should be made to limit wildlife animal births in the park.
But Kilchenman told Der Landbote: “The majority of our guests show goodwill and support our approach.”