The mayor of Argentina's capital says that the Buenos Aires zoo will be turned into an ecological park.

Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta said Thursday that the zoo will gradually relocate most of its 1,500 animals to sanctuaries in Argentina and abroad because they are not living in adequate conditions.

Larreta said that Argentina is following a global trend of turning zoos into parks and animal sanctuaries. He said the animals should live in their habit and not surrounded by buildings and noise.

The Buenos Aires zoo was inaugurated in 1875 in what used to be the outskirts of the Argentine capital. It is now the Palermo neighborhood near busy avenues and buildings. The site is expected to close soon so works on the ecological park can begin.