Officials of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) informed the Sindh High Court on Tuesday that a new cage costing Rs2.9 million will be built for a baby bear allegedly separated from its parents and kept in an unnatural habitat at the Karachi Zoo.
Their submission came as a two-judge bench was hearing a petition jointly filed by around 40 petitioners from various walks of life against the provincial government and KMC authorities for keeping the cub in poor conditions.
KMC officials informed the court that the corporation had initiated the process of inviting tenders for building a cage measuring 45 x 35 feet. It will also have a small pond while a place will also be built for the animal to relieve itself, they said.
They added that steps would be taken to ensure a natural environment was provided to the bear in light of the recommendations given by a committee constituted by the court.
On the last date, the court had directed zoo officials and other respondents to take prompt action to provide the baby bear an environment similar to its natural habitat, considering it to be still a cub.
The bench had ordered a senior director of the zoo to appear along with a report about the cub’s health.
It had also directed the authorities responsible for the maintenance of the zoo to form a committee in this regard for timely action.
The petitioners had submitted through Barrister Mohsin Shahwani that urgent attention was required to save the cub’s life.
Impleading the KMC administrator, senior director of zoo and recreation and the provincial secretary for local government as respondents, the petitioners contended that baby bear ‘Ranoo’ was being kept alone at the Karachi Zoo in a small and ill-equipped enclosure away from its family in Skardu. They said the enclosure lacked a natural habitat and the animal was not being provided proper food, water and medical treatment.