Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > India
Shut Down All Zoo's and Circuses in India

Naresh Kadyan

Despite death of 135 animals since last year, the authority of Kanpur zoo was treating the incidents as normal.

A female elephant died in the zoo yesterday taking the toll to 118 since April last year. But, the zoo authority refuses to take responsibility for the deaths.

The elephant named 'Champa', who died yesterday, had been suffering from a disease "Pododerma" and the zoo doctors had been treating her, zoo director K Praveen Rao told PTI.

Asked about reasons for deaths of the animals, Rao said most of it were due to natural causes.

In January 2010, 27 animals died due to extreme cold, among which on a single day alone 17 cocktail birds had perished.

The zoo director denied report of negligence of animals and said the animals were provided proper feed and health care.

Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Balasaheb Thorat kicked up a controversy in Nagpur after a video of him entering a tiger cub's cage was made public.

The video footage shows Thorat entering the cage in Nagpur zoo in the presence of the tiger's trainer.

Thorat, who is also the Guardian Minister of Nagpur, blatantly ignored zoo rules by entering the cage along with eight to 10 people. This despite the fact that a tiger cub had recently died due to infection.

"Actually Balasaheb Thorat is the Guardian Minister of Nagpur, so when he was told about the tiger cub's condition he went to check the status. His love, affection for wildlife is well-known. Just because he touched the tiger doesn't mean he did anything wrong. I don't have all the details, my department is trying to find out. We will initiate an Inquiry if required. But the zoo doesn't even come under my purview. It's under the Municipal Corporation's jurisdiction, their staff look after the zoo," said Babanrao Pachpute, Maharashtra Forest Minister.

But environmentalists are up in arms against the Minister's actions and have asked for an explanation.

Only authorised and trained personnel are allowed to enter the cages under controlled conditions.

Section 38J of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 states that no person shall tease or cause disturbance to animals in a zoo. Many say that the minister's act amounts to teasing.

Naresh Kadyan, representative of the International Organization for Animal Protection - OIPA in India / founder chairman of the People for Animals (PFA) Haryana lodged complaint with the Commissioner of Nagpur Police bearing No. 1250490121740 against the Agriculture Minister of Maharashtra Balasaheb Thorat for the violation of the section 38(J) of the Indian Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 read with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The Nagpur police on Monday booked two officials of the Punjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), which manages the Maharajbaug zoo, in connection with the deaths of two deer and three emus. The Sitabuldi police, under whose jurisdiction the zoo falls, booked zoo in-charge Dr Abhijit Motghare and zoo controller and associate PDKV dean Dr Vandan Mohod under sections of the wildlife protection Act and the Indian Penal Code.

Animal rights activist Karishma Galani said that the death toll could be higher and a thorough count of the zoo animals was needed. It was on her complaint that the police booked the zoo officials. The PDKV management on Monday transferred Motghare to its dairy department and replaced him with previous zoo in-charge Dr SS Bawaskar. On Tuesday, university seniors rushed to Nagpur from their headquarters in Akola and began an internal probe. Last Thursday, the zoo authorities, under orders from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), began shifting nine ailing deer to the Navegaon national park in Gondia. Violating guidelines, the animals were stuffed in plywood boxes. A fawn (young deer) died while being stuffed into the box. Its carcass was allegedly buried on the zoo premises along with that of an emu, which had also died of unknown reasons in its cage. Later when the police recovered their bodies, the emu was learnt to have been suffering from a disease. The fawn had plastic in its intestine. Of the remaining eight deer, authorities released three fawns back in their enclosure and dispatched five deer to the national park. One more deer died on the way, of shock. Moreover, authorities at the national park refused to accept the animals in the absence of a transit pass which Motghare had not arranged for.

The CZA has not been happy with the upkeep of the zoo, which keeps animals in enclosures instead of in open spaces. The zoo got an extension on its permit till April 2011, but the CZA has been asking authorities to shift its animals to bigger zoos.

These are some questions, which remain unanswered, hence the International Organization for Animal Protection in India needs following information under RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005 and de-recognition of zoo if approved by the CZA.

Many questions? No answers!....

more: shut_down_all_zoos_and_circuses_in_india_-_sukanya_kadyan

*Naresh Kadyan,
**Representative of the International Organization for Animal
Protection *<>
*- OIPA in India* <>, *Chairman,People for Animals Haryana, <>*
+91-9813010595 , 931331209*9

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