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Thread: Abolish Zoos

  1. #1
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    Default Abolish Zoos

    Abolish Zoos

    As a kid, I remember visiting the Nandankanan Zoological Park at Bhubaneswar along with my father and his zoology students. It was winter and the Zoology department students had come for a picnic in Nandankanan zoo. I remember being told that it was the only zoo in India that had natural surroundings as it was on the side of the Chandaka forests. In the early seventies attracted by the mating call of a tigress a tiger had jumped into the moat and became captive till its death. I also remember the incident when dad scolded a group of students who were teasing a leopard. Today when I look back, I realise that the zoos have outlived their utilities.

    Recreation & Awareness:
    Zoos were created during the colonial times, when exotic species were brought to Europe to offer the public possibilities of viewing them. Today, we have the electronic media and we don’t need to go to the Zoos to know how a tiger looks like. A captive tiger is a far cry from the majestic king roaming in the forests.

    The Central Zoo Authority, admits that “many zoos have evolved from menageries and private collections, and most zoos until the last two decades were set up mainly for entertainment and recreation”.

    Most of the times the recreation aspect is redefined by tourists who get sadistic pleasure from routinely teasing and abusing animals. One incident always remains in my mind. A group of tourists were abusing a Hoolock gibbon in Delhi Zoo and the poor gibbon was screaming at the top of its voice. Ofcourse, the defenders of Zoos will say that the National Zoo Policy in the section 3.4.4 states "Zoos shall not allow any animal to be provoked for tortured for the the purpose of extracting any performance or tricks for the benefit of the visitors or for any other reason". However, in India rules are rarely enforced.

    Reintroduction in the Wild:
    In the preamble of National Zoo Policy “Today when wildlife habitats are under severe pressure and a large number of species of wild fauna have become endangered, the zoos have not only to sustain their own populations but also augment the depleting populations of endangered species in the wild.”

    I haven’t seen a single successful case of reintroduction of a zoo bred animal in the wild. Let us understand why introducing a zoo bred animal in the wild is wishful thinking.

    Take the example of a tiger. Assume that a Zoo has managed to breed a healthy tiger. A tiger needs lot of knowledge before it can become self sufficient in the wild. A tiger cub normally takes around 18-22 months to learn the secrets of nature, hunting techniques and other survival skills before it separates from its mother. Who will teach a zoo bred tiger hunting techniques? And how will you teach?

    The hunting technique of a tiger is different than that of a leopard. It doesn't strangulate its prey. A tiger breaks the neck of animals and kills it. It is a difficult technique to master. At times the young adolescent tigers are unable to do that cleanly. A tiger will jump on the back of its prey, holds its neck and puts all its weight. The animal falls and in the process the weight of the prey and the tiger dislocates the neck cleanly. Of course, you don't see this technique used when the tiger is killing a small deer fawn, for obvious reasons.

    Do you believe that anyone can impart this knowledge to the young Zoo bread tiger? Do you think this tiger would be able to survive in the wild?

    Health and Fitness of Zoo animals:
    If you look at a tiger in the Zoo and a wild one, you will immediately notice the difference in the coat. The coat of the wild tiger would be glistening, where as that of the captive one would be dull. There is a huge difference in fitness levels. The zoo bred tiger will be easily killed in a fight with a wild tiger.

    The enclosures in a zoo are cramped. The animals don’t even have the minimum personal space. Tigers have huge territories. A tiger can easily cover 10 to 15kms in the night. They are also very good swimmers. They have been known to swim for long distances in the river. Such a powerful creature when confined to a small enclosure will have its adverse effects. You can often see the tiger pacing up and down its cage, getting irritable, growling or even banging its head in the cage. Nobody understands the psychological impact on the captive animals.

    There have been many cases of animals dying in the zoo. Most of the times the Veterinarians are unable to understand the reason. The Section 3.5.1 of the National Zoo Policy says that “Zoos shall ensure availability of the highest standards of veterinary care to all the animals in their collection”. Unfortunately, the standards are not defined. To read more about the reasons for lack of world class veterinary care for our wild animals, you may click here.
    http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23


    Human Imprinting:
    The section 3.4.3 of the National Zoo Policy states that “With the objectives of avoiding human imprinting and domestication of animals. Zoos shall prevent physical handling of animals by the staff to the extent possible”.

    I don’t see this being followed in any Zoo. For eg. in Nandankanan zoo, during the feeding time the zoo keepers ring a bell and then feed the tigers and lions. Now the tigers and lions are so used to the bell that whenever bell rings, they run towards the feeding area. They have been conditioned. It reminded me of the Pavlov’s Dog experiment where Pavlov had started feeding his dog after ringing a bell. After some days he realized that the dog started salivating at the mere sight of the bell. The same story is unfolding with our tigers and lions in the Zoo. Deeply regrettable, but who cares? Are they wild animals any more?

    Ethical Reasons:
    I understand the value of freedom and the demoralizing effect of captivity. Captivity breaks the spirit. I was told a story by a motivational expert – she had no knowledge of wildlife – but she told this real incident to me. She found a small elephant calf tied down by two thick iron chains, where as her mother was bound only by a rope. When she asked the mahout, the reply was that the female elephant has lost its spirit where as its small calf has still not accepted the life in captivity. We are mostly the product of Independent India. But the earlier generation would definitely appreciate the value of freedom.

    I am sure our educated youth would raise their voice against this continuing drama of the absurd. Please raise your voice. Right to the Secretary, MoEF (email: envisect@nic.in ) and write to the PMO as well.

    I hope the voice of the people would force our decision makers to understand the fallacy of maintaining Zoos and would move to disband them.

  2. #2

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    I have been to Byculla Zoo in Mumbai several times. And i must say Animals in the zoo are not in good hands. Hyena and a domestic cat in the same enclosure, Hyena is fed biscuits. There are no zoo authorities to keep tab on the crowd. There are many instances of crowd throwing stones on the animals, pointing laser lights etc. After speaking to a young zoo keeper i came to know that Animals are not fed properly.

  3. #3
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    Maharashtra's agriculture minister enters into the zoo and pats a tiger. The poor tiger cub is frightened and retreats into a corner. This is what our zoos have become.

    Please check the ndtv link for video and Times of India link for text.

    http://www.ndtv.com/news/videos/vide...php?id=1145951

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/n...ow/4900347.cms

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    Hi Sabyasachi,

    Without the shadow of doubt Zoo's have deviated from the original plan of breeding endangered animals and introducing them to the wilderness. Now it's more of a place for picnic and fun then using it as a learning tool. However going back to what I said I would also like to point out that it can be used as an educational tool for children to teach them about the lives of the wild animals and their habitats and also the genre of people who believe only in having fun in zoo's will not be travelling far and wide to disturb the real habitat with their nuisance. Notwithstanding the fact that it is of outmost importance to preserve the animals in a zoo and to uphold all the rules of the zoo without compromising which is easier said than done but the authorities cannot afford to take it lightly. Educating the visitors is also important as that will create mass awareness about the lives of the wild animals in their natural habitat and offering volunteering opportunities to anyone interested is also one aspect that can be looked upon. Regular school excursions to the Zoo's accompanied by a Naturalist and not just a Teacher will definitely have a lot of impact on the children and we cannot overlook the fact that today’s children are our future guardians of the Protected Areas. Inculcating the love for wildlife in children at this stage is as important as any other activities like anti poaching, fighting for wildlife causes and so on. More so for the children who live on the fringes of PA's and getting them to understand the significance of wildlife preservation should never be overlooked. My thoughts.

    Regards,
    Siddhartha
    flickr.com/photos/wildsunny
    "There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in
    which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before."

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    Default Rising deaths of Captive animals, PETA wants Zoos closed

    One more news about how bad is the situation in our Zoos. I don't see any reason why we should not abolish our Zoos.

    The news was published in Sifynews by IANS.

    Rising deaths of captive animals, PETA wants zoos closed
    2009-09-16 17:10:00

    Citing deaths of animals in captivity, activists of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India Wednesday staged a demonstration in front of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) here and called for a shut down of all zoos.
    Following a recent case at a zoo in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, where 13 cheetals and a swamp deer died, the animals rights organisation called for the closure of all zoos and held banners saying 'Let Animals Show Their True Colours - Shut All Zoos'.
    The activists said that the zoos' 'manufactured habitats' prevent animals from engaging in 'natural behaviour such as flying, swimming, running, hunting, climbing, scavenging and selecting a mate'.
    'Zoos claim that they protect species from extinction, however incidents such as the recent deaths at Kanpur Zoo prove that their claims are a farce,' said PETA's Ashish Verma adding that they have been asking 'the CZA to take strict action against all zoos that violate animal safety norms and close them down immediately'.
    Verma also recalled that since 2007 the animal death toll in zoos was rising.
    As per PETA's statistics, in 2007, five deer died as a result of trauma and suffocation at the Kinnerasani Deer Park in Andhra Pradesh and 12 deer died of pneumonia at the Tripura Zoo.
    'In the same year, 13 black bucks died at the Aurangabad Municipal Zoo, and five spotted deer died of cardiac arrest at the Sepahijala Zoo in Tripura. Shortly thereafter, 13 black bucks died at the Binkadakatti Zoo following a dog attack. In September of last year, five black bucks at Kanpur Zoo died of unknown causes,' Verma said.

    The original article can be found at the following link
    http://sify.com/news/national/fullst...ts_zoos_closed

  6. #6
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    I personally do not feel that zoos should be closed down. I agree that our zoos are in bad shape but that does not mean that we close them down . Reform is what is required . We need to change the way they are being maintained etc and use them both as an educational tool as well as for captive breeding. Captive breeding is important. Take the case of Pere Davis Deer , it would have been lost to the world if not for the captive breeding programme at Wobourn.

    A lot of Conservation organizations that carry out exemplary work in the field are based or originated from zoos for example the Wildlife Conservation Society from the Bronx Zoo. Zoos abroad are a vital tool in generating funds for conservation and research. We should strive to reform our zoos rather than take the easy route and high moral ground by closing them down.

    This attitude of abandoning something rather than fixing it can be dangerous , I mean we could have denotified Sariska when we lost all the tigers !

    Personally , as a child, I have spent many pleasurable moments in zoos , Calcutta , Delhi and Mysore come to mind. In fact my visits to the zoo had such a positive impact on me that , till recently , I used to take my daughter Tara to the Mysore zoo.( A girl who saw her first leopard before she turned one and her first tiger at 4 ! )

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    The argument that Zoos abroad are good falls flat.
    Please check this link:
    http://www.captiveanimals.org/zoos/noplace.html

    Am quoting from the press release "Filmed over the past two years in zoos across the UK, including safari parks and aquaria, No Place Like Home updates our 2000 production Sad Eyes and Empty Lives, which we still receive requests from campaigners, schools and colleges across the country and overseas every week. Both films are the only ones to look specifically at the state of UK zoos.

    Narrated by CAPS patron Sally Banks, wife of the late Tony Banks MP, the new video looks at issues of conservation and education and reveals shocking conditions in zoos, including:

    • A gorilla repeatedly regurgitating food and eating it
    • Numerous cases of stereotypic behaviours such as big cats pacing, elephants weaving and reptiles pushing against glass
    • Small enclosures restricting movement and offering no stimulation

    Stereotypic behaviours, a sign of frustration, boredom and stress, appeared so common that we only had time to include a small sample in the film".

    It is common to see a tiger pacing up and down, from one side to the other. It is not worth such pain on the tiger just because we or our kids can have a first hand experience at a young age.

    A centre for breeding and reintroduction is completely different than a zoo meant for pleasure of tourists. These centres can be set up as and when required for a specific species. That doesn't allow us the liberty to confine our animals and birds into a zoo. During the Roman period people used to enjoy gladiators sparring with animals. Today we don't have the gladiators, but the visitors have the same saddistic pleasure in throwing nuts and pebbles and irritating animals. I don't see much of good things in them to be fixed.

    The channels like National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet etc are doing a good job in educating our public than what the zoos can ever do. Apart from sentimental reasons, I don't see any logic in retaining our zoos.

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    Read this interesting article related to what we were discussing, so thought of posting it -

    The world's biggest online zoo has opened its doors to show off hundreds of animals, all performing obediently over and over again.

    Traditional zoo disappointments – coy lions staying in their dens or snakes hiding under leaves – have no part in the extraordinary display of passion, cunning, mimicry, reproduction and violence by everything from hedgehogs to spitting cobras.

    Caught at night with infrared cameras, deep underwater with huge floodlights, and under microscopes which distinguish different sorts of microbe, the BBC's Wildlife Finder is the product of years of planning – and dreaming. Technology and funding have finally made possible the corporation's ambition to give its spectacular natural history photography and film a permanent global audience.

    Starting with 370 animals, including four octopuses and a solitary starfish, the databank of clips and still pictures will be reinforced on a daily basis. BBC staff are combing through hundreds of wildlife programmes, from spectaculars such as Planet Earth to regional TV news items, to create an unprecedented collection. Early stars in terms of hits online include Darwin's frog, a tiny resident of forests in Chile, which gives birth through the mouth of the male. The process is repeated in slow motion – another feature of the archive's ability to spy on Earth's wild creatures to an unprecedented extent.

    A New Guinea jumping spider has also leapt into the popularity charts, soaring from a leaf on to the cameraman's lens. He carries on filming, as a commentary tells us about the exceptional size of the spider's jaws. "Its jump is only used," the film explains, without the slightest wobble as spider legs skid on the glass, "as a means of getting on to its prey."

    The website divides into the animal kingdom's main categories, such as mammals, fish and birds, and then descends in tiers through subspecies, down to moonrats and tree kangaroos. Long-standing favourites such as meerkats are in the launch selection but the spotlight also shines on the nocturnal and hardly-ever-seen Sundar Flying Lemur, or Malay Colugo. A rat-like rodent, this opens itself out into a sort of aerial handbag to glide silently through the forests of Borneo in the dark. Equally shy are the Dumbo octopi, the only wild species to be named after a Disney character.

    Appearing in many of the clips alongside the animals is Sir David Attenborough. His favourites include film of the inside of a duckbilled platypus's burrow and an attack by predators on a shoal of sardines. Wildlife Finder had, said Sir David, realised his highest ambitions for popularising natural history.

    "It has always been my hope that, through film-making, I can bring the wonder of the natural world into people's sitting rooms," he said. "Now the web has totally changed how we can link information, connect people and reach new audiences in a world which likes to have things on demand."

    A quarter of the animals have more than one clip each, with 500 separate films in the launch package, and some show a very young Sir David.

    By- Martin Wainwright

    Link in Gaurdian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...der-online-zoo
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Default Kailash Sankhala on Zoos

    Dear All,
    I came across this while reading Kailash Sankhala's book “Tiger! The story of the Indian Tiger” by Kailash Sankhala, page number 207-209. He was the first Director of Project Tiger and was also later awarded the Padma Shri. I am quoting him below.

    "The latest craze for Safari Parks or the creation of zoos is not the answer for saving a species. I have begun to feel that these institutions change their philosophy faster than the weathercock. In Roman times animal collections were made to keep a stock for entertainment in the amphitheatres. Later they called them zoos; as fashion changed they became “Zoological Gardens”, later still “Zoological Parks”. Now that ecology, environment and the biosphere are all the rage they are suddenly changing their signboards to become “Ecological Centres” or “Biological Parks”.

    The new zoos are designed on an environmental concept, as indeed we designed the zoo at Delhi. But even with the best designing we have not come anywhere near this concept. Before they are brought to the zoo the animal was caught – involving an inevitable degree of cruelty – and then shifted from their natural homes. Birds have their wings pinioned – so depriving them of their life’s essence, free flight. Why? Purely for our benefit, to see them in “as natural an environment as possible”. The whole idea of bringing a free-living animal into captivity is revolting, and simply because they eat well and reproduce in captivity does not mean that a zoo is a proper environment for them.

    Zoos boast that wildlife education is an aid to a better understanding of nature. In practice it is no better than the Children’s Corner which I abolished. Specimens exhibited in drab enclosures certainly do not convey the sense of what the stripes or the tusks mean to the animal. Museum techniques are now so far advanced that they are quite capable of creating dioramas that can convey the real meaning of the land and those that live in it. Dioramas together with films on wildlife are far more educational than the sight of an animal walking up and down in a cage all his life. If it is not necessary to bring the Grand Canyon or the Taj Mahal, the desert or the rain forests to your city except in pictures why should there be any justification for netting and snaring animals for educational purposes at a zoo? The marvels of nature must be seen where they are, not where they are planted by human hand. With supersonic travel the world has shrunk to be a small place, and it is within the reach of many to appreciate nature’s creations in their natural homes. A visit to one natural area to see a few animals is far more satisfying than gaping at a whole collection in a zoo. One should be selective, enjoying a few rather than becoming bored by many.

    Someone will say that zoos serve as research laboratories. They do, but that does not entitle them to keep such large collections, particularly those animals not needed for research. Let us not be wasteful in our experiments.

    I have seen zoos from Delhi to Dallas, Hyderabad to Honolulu, London to Lucknow, San Diego to Srinagar. I am sure that many zoo directors will agree with me that a zoo is for the most part a confused institution unsure of its objectives. Although it seeks justification in education it is really more of a carnival for entertainment. Except for a few zoos which do a real job of contributing to knowledge their objectives are pure hypocrisy.

    After I left Delhi Zoo and spent two years in the wilds I could not become reconciled to the idea of such animal prisons. The idea of starting a zoo in Singapore was proposed to me; the proposal had a lot of money behind it, but my choice had to be for the animals to be free. I was also called to help in designing a zoo at Chandigarh and Bhopal in India; I attended the first meeting and went to select the site, but my conscience did not permit me to proceed any further. I had to request to be excused. I am becoming more and more convinced that zoos with multi-purpose objectives should be abandoned.

    So what is the answer? I would suggest we concentrate on creating reserves where man’s interference – or what he arrogantly calls “scientific management” – is minimal. I do not like the term “national parks”, for it has been too loosely used. The initial meaning of “the untouched glory of God” has been so diluted that it has lost its significance. The term “park” conveys artificiality and the word “national” limits its universal appeal".

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Default Elephants to be banished from all zoos

    Dear All,
    Sharing this news. Elephants will be removed from all zoos. They develop problems in their feet due to lack of exercise. Thankfully, the Central Zoo Authority has taken a good decision.
    Sabyasachi

    Elephants to be banished from all zoos

    Neha Lalchandani & Deeksha Chopra, TNN 12 November 2009, 01:08am IST

    NEW DELHI: Delhi Zoo will soon be bidding farewell to its three elephants. In fact, elephants will no longer be seen in any zoo or circus in the
    country after the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) issued a notice on Monday to the effect that all of these animals in zoos, numbering about 140, should be sent to national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves as soon as possible.

    According to sources, the circular states that a zoo environment is not the best place for the large animals and they should be shifted to national parks with immediate effect. "CZA's order is binding on all zoos. Elephants are large animals and require a large area to move about freely. The environment of a zoo can be very restrictive. The animals have great use for departmental work, eco-tourism, patrolling etc and a decision has been taken to send them to national parks and tiger reserves where they can be under the supervision of mahauts," said A N Prasad, director, Project Elephant.

    According to Dr B K Gupta, evaluation and monitoring officer of CZA, India had 140 elephants in 26 zoos and 16 circuses as on March 31 2009. "Of these, Mysore and Trivandrum have the largest number at 9 and 8 respectively.

    Delhi and Mysore are the only two zoos that have African elephants. The decision was taken after evaluating conditions of elephants at various zoos and circuses. We found that circuses specially were not following standards set under the Recognition of Zoo Rules, 1992," he said.

    Delhi Zoo director D N Singh confirmed that they had received the order though he restrained from elaborating on it. Sources said that Delhi Zoo's resident Asiatic pachyderms, Rajlakshmi and Hira, and its sole African member Shankar would be moved to Jim Corbett National Park sometime soon. Shankar had been gifted to former president Shankar Dayal Sharma by the Zimbabwian government.

    Sources explained that the various zoos would carry out this order in consultation with the chief wildlife wardens of their specific states and the CZA.

    Environmentalists saw this as a positive move though some had reservations on the shifting of all elephants as that would be contrary to the principal of ex-situ conservation."There is merit in this decision. It is best for them to be as close to their natural habitat as possible. Elephants needs a lot of space to exercise and move about in and they are being deprived that space in zoos and circuses," said Samir Sinha, head of traffic, WWF India.

    The source article can be found here:
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/h...ow/5221159.cms

  12. #12

    Default Elephants to be banished from all zoos

    This is good news indeed ....heard from experts that lack of space and closed enclosures also effects the mental health of elephants....

    Roopak

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    Default Six new zoos to be introduced soon

    Six new zoos to be introduced soon
    Wednesday, 30 November 2011 23:36

    Much to the delight of children and animal lovers, at least six new zoological gardens are being proposed in the country. Among the major attractions in them will be the first ever Night Safari in the country at Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Panther Safari at Raigad in Maharashtra. The new zoos will be in addition to the already existing 22 in the country.

    According to sources in the Central Zoo Authority, out of the six proposed zoological gardens that have been granted approval three are in Uttar Pradesh alone. Out of the other three, two are in Maharashtra and one in Madhya Pradesh.

    The most awaited is, however, the Greater Noida Night Safari which will be the fourth of its kind in the world after Singapore, China and Thailand. CZA has granted approval under Section 38H(2) of the Wildlife Protection Act. It has also got the mandatory approval by the Supreme Court.

    The Lion Safari proposed in Etawah, though having received clearances from both the CZA and the SC, has remained a non-started due to a power tussle between SP and BSP.

    Yet another zoo proposed at Ramgarh Tal Development Area in Gorakhpur is expected to house animals from derecognised zoos of the State.

    Two other similar proposals for Agra and Muradabad have, however, been shot down on the ground that the proposed sites were within the flood plains of Yamuna and Ram Ganges rivers and thus not suitable for creation of zoos.

    Maharashtra being one of the worst-hit States in man-leopard conflicts, CZA has also granted approval for setting up a leopard rescue centre at Ahmednagar. Further, Madhya Pradesh is also expected to have a zoo and animal rescue centre at Satna.

    Among the existing top five zoos, the Alipur Zoological Gardens (West-Bengal) is home to rare captive breeding projects involving the Manipur Brow-antlered Deer.

    The Allen Forest Zoo (Uttar Pradesh) is created out of natural forest and its main attractions include white tigers and Asiatic lions. Aringar Anna Zoological Park (Tamil Nadu) is an Avian paradise and roosting ground for migratory birds. It is also home to a wide variety of species of monkeys. While the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park/ Chatbir Zoo (Chandigarh) has Lion Safari and Royal Bengal Tiger as its main draws, the Guwahati Zoo (Assam) has one-horned rhino, Himalayan Black Bear, stump-tailed Macaque and the Hoolock gibbons as its major attractions.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Default 67 animals died at WB zoo in eight months

    67 animals died at WB zoo in eight months
    Kolkata, May 22, 2012, (PTI):

    Even as the West Bengal government hired and fired nine directors in the last eight months to ensure better management, the Alipore zoo here recorded 67 animal deaths during the same period.

    Sources said 67 animals including tigers, lions, chimpanzees, marmosets, kangaroos, birds and snakes, died here between August 2011 and March 2012.

    The zoo had recorded 57 animal deaths in 2009-10 and 52 to 53 deaths in 2010-11.
    Among the animals that died are three of the six red kangaroos brought from Czech Republic in June 2011. Two new-born marmosets died in November 2011.

    “The maximum number of casualties is among birds and reptiles. A total of 30 birds and 20 snakes have died over the past eight months,” a senior zoo official said.

    According to former zoo inspector Swapan Ghosh, animal deaths in zoos are triggered by three factors-population of old and sick animals, lack of proper veterinary care and unforeseen incidents such as a disease outbreak.

    “But 67 deaths in eight months, or one death in every 4 to 5 days, is highly unusual,” Ghosh, said.

    However, state Forest minister Hiten Burman claimed to be ignorant of the deaths.
    “Is it true that 67 animals have died in eight months? I’m not aware of that. I’ll have to inquire. I’ll ask for a report from the zoo authorities,” Burman told Deccan Herald.

    “In fact, neither the Zoo authorities nor the government has an idea of running the park. As the animals in the zoo are taken out of their natural habitat and placed in an artificial environment they always need special care. Their condition is not only delicate but fragile too and the zoo authorities need to take care of that but unfortunately enough these factors are never taken under consideration,” a former director of the Alipore Zoo told Deccan Herald.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    I completely support the point that zoos should be abolished. Wild animals are supposed to be in the 'wild' and not kept inside a cage. National reserves and parks are fine as the animals are free but animals being kept in zoos do not benefit in any way.
    People in support of zoos should be asked how they would feel if an alien kidnapped them and took them to their planet far away from home and preserved them as models of public display in a cage for the alien population's entertainment?
    I'm quite sure of the answer to that and I feel wild animals being caged in a zoo feel the same. They are best in their natural habitat and that is exactly where they should be.

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    Prolonged incarceration in confined places leads to several behavioural abberations. This leads to the animals attacking each other. There are many reported cases of elephants attacking others, hippos, crocodiles attacking others of their species.

    Unfortunately, rather than closing down the existing zoos, there is a move to increase zoos. MoEF has received ten proposals for new zoos in the country. The Minister of State for MoEF Jayanthi Natarajan while answering to a question in the Lok Sabha said that out of the ten proposals for new zoos, five are from UP and four are from Maharashtra.

    Madhya Pradesh has proposed a Zoo and Rescue centre at Mukundpur in Satna district.

    Lion Safari in Etawah - which was the pet project of the earlier Mulayam Singh Govt. and was stalled by Mayawati Govt - is being revived by the present Akhilesh Yadav led UP Government. Furthermore, the UP Govt. has proposed a Night Safari in Greater Noida, one zoo at Ramgarh Tal, Agra and Moradabad.

    The Maharashtra Government, whose agriculture minister had entered into a cage to pat tiger cubs in 2009, has asked for a leopard rescue centre at Ahmednagar, panther safari at Roha in Raigad district, a rescue centre at Gorewada in Nagpur and Gorewada Zoo in Nagpur.

    Sabyasachi

  17. #17
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    Default Royal Bengal Tigress meets gruesome end in Arunachal

    Royal Bengal Tigress meets gruesome end in Arunachal
    Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 15:10 [IST]

    Itanagar, Sept 26: The brutal death of a Royal Bengal Tigress inside a zoo in Itanagar, the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh, has raised several questions regarding the safety of animals inside zoos spread across the country.
    Currently, India is trying hard to increase its depleting tiger population in its various wildlife sanctuaries.
    A group of poachers entered the zoo and hacked a Royal Bengal tigress to death, said sources.
    The incident at the Itanagar zoo-cum-botanical garden took place on Sunday, Sept 23 between 8 pm and 9 pm when three guards were out for dinner, added sources. The fourth guard was said to be on leave.
    The killing of the tigress by poachers was nothing less than horrific.
    Zoo officials said the tigress was first shot in the forehead. Later the miscreants chopped off its abdomen before fleeing from the spot. Two empty cases were recovered from its skull during autopsy on Tuesday.
    Zoo officials are saying the miscreants took advantage of the absence of guards.
    But many are questioning as how could poachers enter inside a highly secured area like a zoo.
    "Its a tragic day for us. We have lost one of our most loved animals in the zoo," rued R Ringu, deputy chief conservator of forest (wildlife). "They probably came to hunt a tiger, but killed a tigress by mistake," added Ringu.
    A tiger's vital organs are in great demand globally and can fetch up to $50,000 in the international black market.
    Although officials are claiming to take severe action against the culprits, however, so far, no arrests are being made in the case. The slain animal, Oni, was one of the six tigers at the zoo. Oni was born in the zoo in 2006.
    Itanagar Zoo was established in 1987. The zoo is located around 8-km away from the city. The zoo is spread over 250-hectare-land.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  18. #18
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    Default

    [QUOTE=Mrudul Godbole;53433]Royal Bengal Tigress meets gruesome end in Arunachal
    Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 15:10 [IST]

    Although officials are claiming to take severe action against the culprits, however, so far, no arrests are being made in the case.

    There was a similar case in Hyderabad a few years back. No one knows the status of the case.

  19. #19
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    Default

    Dear Sir,

    With all due respect I would like to point out to you that in your latest news letter (Vol. 5, Issue 1) you have written an article on Exotic Wildlife as Pets.

    I agree to most of what you have said but there is just one small issue ! Instead of banning everything it should be regulated and regulated properly. Because banning something will mean that people do it illegally and that will only give rise to more bribery and corruption and also animals and birds will have to be smuggled so they will be kept hidden in small and mediocre cages.

    Your idea of maintaining a registry with licensing is very good but that should be done to keep a check on breeding and trade instead of banning that also !! If we register and give a license to breed exotic species for trade then it will automatically reduce imports from the wild !

    Another thing is that zoos are the worst thing in the world as your this article just states whereas you've written that if someone wants to donate exotic birds to the zoos they should be accepted.

    I feel that people if taught properly can take care of animals better than zoos. Of course this goes only for acceptable species as pets.

    This is just my honest opinion and I felt I should draw your attention towards it.

    Regards,
    Divyaraj.

  20. #20
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    Divyaraj,
    Even today animals and birds are kept in very small cages. The thing is we don't realise that the exotic pets trade is leading to depletion of animals from their original habitat and in many cases pushes the species on the verge of extinction. Our interest in having pets is giving rise to a huge problem. So it is better to stop it.

    It is difficult to find out if a pet has been illegally smuggled or bred in this country. So as long as we allow exotic pets, illegal smuggling will continue.

    The reason I have advocated handing over these exotic species to the zoos - although zoos have outlived their utilities - because that is one step from taking away all these species away from private ownership and stopping of their breeding and trade. Once these species are in the zoos, the ones which are really globally vulnerable can be monitored, their purity of species ascertained and kept separately for future action.

    As a child I used to be very happy banging the cage which held a couple of parakeets. The poor things were terrified. My cousin used to treat them well. However, no amount of love is worth sacrificing your freedom.

    I am all for freedom of species in their native habitat.
    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

  21. #21
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    I understand your point sir and i also advocate freedom for all species in their native habitat. Working in wildlife rehab has taught me that one thing amongst many others ! But apart from some zoos the others just don't know nor do they care about any species or animals. For example, we all know that Cheetahs are currently extinct in India and Vulnerable elsewhere still due to lack of know how and care 2 of them died in a zoo in Gujarat along with many marmosets and Nicobar pigeons that were brought in under the zoo exchange programme.

    Another thing is that banning something in a country like India is to say the very least totally hopeless according to me. Our court cases are ever pending and our justice system cannot cope with the no of cases every year so at the end of it only the animals suffer. As far as the matter of pets go, yes animals have suffered because of that but banning it will hardly solve the problem because internally birds and animals bred in captivity and hand reared are legally allowed to be kept as pets so say if India bans it - it will only give rise to corruption, ill legal smuggling and no standardized way of keeping them.

    Instead if we regulate it we can control it in a better way and all persons involved in handling the animals can be told to keep them nicely.

    During my time spent in South Africa at various rehab centers and zoos i learnt that if an animal or bird is going to be kept in captivity life long then its better to tame them and interact with them coz otherwise in many cases animals develop depression and under go severe mental trauma.

    Ill be posting an article I have written on Animal Emotions soon here for everybody to read !

    As far as this discussion goes - the problem is very complex with a whole lot of variables and there is no easy solution ! One has to consider every scenario
    and come up with alternative solutions for each ! Where we have to ban trade we should and where it is better to regulate then we should do that also because ultimately whether in captivity or in wild the welfare of the animals should come first i feel !

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