Our poor zoo animals

Given the recent events at Karachi Zoo, one is suspicious at the staff’s treatment toward the animals held at the zoo.


Editorial November 21, 2012

Given the accounts of recent events at the Karachi Zoo, one cannot help but become suspicious at the staff’s treatment toward the animals held at the zoo. On November 19, the Zoo lost its third Bengal tiger out of four, marking the sixth death of an animal at the Zoo over the last few months. While the tiger is believed to have died of old age, the deaths of other animals remain inexplicable.

Sources said that a male Chacma baboon and a red deer lost their lives after being shot with a tranquillizer gun. The baboon fell to its death when it was shot off a tree. The deer succumbed to the tranquillizer shot itself — raising questions about who fired the shot and who ordered the lethal dose of tranquillizer that was delivered. Another matter that is sure to anger animal rights advocates is the capture of the Zoo’s wild female leopard that was initially kept in a turkey cage upon being captured from Murree. The feline was then gifted to the city district government of Karachi by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa wildlife department. Astonishingly, a government agency that is, perhaps, expected to protect wildlife, captured the wild cat otherwise used to roaming freely in her forests.

In calling upon agencies to fight for the rights of our wildlife, who, then, should we to turn to? Much to our chagrin, the story gets worse. The leopard somehow ‘lost’ its four canine teeth and no previous owner, not the Safari Park nor the Karachi Zoo, has any information on the missing teeth, which raises questions about the standards of record-keeping at the zoo. It also makes one wonder who pocketed the money from the potential sale of the canines. And, one does not even want to delve into the method used to extract the leopard’s teeth and whether the extractor was cognisant of the fact that animals can sense pain. In all seriousness, zookeepers should be trained in having compassion for animals as the events unfolding in recent months dramatically point to its lack.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2012.

COMMENTS (1)

indian | 9 years ago | Reply

protect man's life first ...then think about poor animals

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