Stirred by Saheli’s death, youngsters protest outside Marghazar Zoo

Published: May 5, 2012
The protestors holding placards and demanding solutions to the mismanagement of the zoo. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

The protestors holding placards and demanding solutions to the mismanagement of the zoo. PHOTO: FACEBOOK


Less than a week after Saheli’s death, a group of youngsters coordinated a protest outside the Marghazar Zoo here on Friday. Twenty people, gathered through social media networks, came together to protest against what they believed was the cause of Saheli’s death: neglect.

The angry protesters stood outside the zoo holding placards and chanted slogans against the administration. Some shared their fond childhood memories with the elephant.

When they tried to approach the zoo deputy director, they were told by the staff that he was not in his office. This agitated them into demanding that the zoo be shut down if it can not care for the poor animals.

“What have the innocent animals done to deserve such treatment?” said Omar Saleem, a protester. He listed the changes that the zoo had undergone over a passage of time. The lions and panthers have gone missing, and then an elephant died “mysteriously.”

As the protest caught the public attention, the zoo administration got active. Sohail Ahmed, an official of the zoo, approached the protesters but could not convince them to leave. They stayed there for over four hours.

Numair Shahzada, who was spearheading the protest, admitted that the turnover was not as big as they had anticipated. “Still, it’s a good start; as long as people are ready to take a stand, we can bring some change,” he said, adding that they will continue to protest till they get some answers on how Saheli died. They are also working towards getting a petition signed.

While talking about Kaavan, the other elephant, he said, “No animal deserves to live in such deplorable conditions. He should be moved to an animal reserve or a larger enclosure.”

Saheli’s post-mortem report is due in on Monday.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • saeed
    May 5, 2012 - 6:22AM

    good work, youngster . this is a good start.


  • Tch tch
    May 5, 2012 - 8:59PM

    The Zoos Director (Who has appeared on channels) seems constantly to be under the influence. A sadistic small heartless man and surprise surprise a political appointee.
    Saheli died because he was so useless and lazy that he kept it shakeled for weeks, and refused to hand over the keys to the chains. He is on tape saying that there were no padlocks on chains when footage claerly showed its existance. He is also selling of animals to private collections. Wounds developed on foot leading to its death. Its tragic to watch. The Caretakers were crying them selves silly. And when interviewed leaked the story. Both got terminated by the Director for Their negligence. Heartless man. The reports from various outlets are on Youtube (Dunya, Geo, AJJ) are pretty damning.
    The lack of outrage and tiny protest just shows we have become an uncaring nation. The Sirilankans should stop sending any more elephants to this wretched place.



  • AllahRukha
    May 5, 2012 - 11:06PM

    Good effort. Hope the rest of the elite youth of Islamabad would also wake up to its duties as citizens.


  • Noman Akbar
    May 6, 2012 - 2:45PM

    While the death of an elephant is a tragic incident, more tragic is the fact that our mummy daddy Islamabadis have not taken any such step for the deaths of average Pakistanis taking place every day, even though their fathers, uncles, and other relatives, and so called connections (who take them to parties and where not) work for the Federal government. Shame.


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