ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to transfer the administration of Marghzar Zoo from Municipal Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) to the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB).

This was disclosed during the hearing of a petition filed by the IWMB against the incapability of the zoo administration in creating a congenial environment for the wildlife.

During the course of hearing on Tuesday, the IWMB drew attention of the court towards a report of the World Wildlife Federation and said a marsh crocodile had been kept in deplorable conditions in the zoo and as per the experts it may not survive if its environment was not improved.

Summary ready for submission to cabinet for approval, IHC informed

M. Bilal, deputy director Marghzar Zoo, appeared before the court and said because of lack of funds the management was unable to take proper care of the crocodile.

Deputy Attorney General Syed Mohammad Tayyab informed the court that the Ministry of Climate Change had prepared a summary and recommended to the federal cabinet to transfer the zoo to the IWMB.

He informed the court that a summary would be placed before the federal cabinet at the earliest.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that marsh crocodile was a non-exhibit animal.

The condition in which the marsh crocodile has been kept in the zoo is indeed alarming.

The deputy director has also conceded that the zoo management is not in a position to take proper care of it.

An amicus appointed by the court in the case recommended taking urgent steps otherwise the crocodile may not survive.

Subsequently, the court held that while the management of the zoo conceded that it was not equipped to take proper care of the marsh crocodile, the federal government through the secretary climate change ministry was directed to hold a meeting with the representative of WWF-Pakistan, IWMB and the director Marghzar Zoo within three days.

The court directed the government to take steps to prevent further harm to the marsh crocodile.

Justice Minallah sought a report from the climate change ministry and adjourned further hearing of the matter to Aug 29.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2019