Transferring animals from the wild into closed compounds with the promise of controlled living conditions, food and other facilities is what zoos aim to provide.
There is however, no comparison between an animal’s natural habitat and those artificially created in cages, zoos and other animal facilities, especially in Pakistan where there is an extreme lack of resources and a seeming lack of compassion.
Animals in the Lahore Zoo were found to be caged and suffering in extreme weather conditions, with either no facilities to cool them, or such facilities being off due to loadshedding or disrepair. Certain compounds were not equipped to cater to the needs or requirements of the animals.
In Lahore, the image of a healthy zoo is far from reality, with visitng children expressing concern over the ill-treatment of animals. This has become a source of concern for many including teachers, parents, NGO’s and even children.
Just last week, Pakistan lost a Sri Lankan elephant who died due to an injury on her foot. The World Wide Fund for Nature Biodiversity Director Uzma Khan said that foot conditions are one of the reasons for mortality amongst elephants, however, this fact is not known by many of the zoo caretakers, and hence ignored.