KARACHI, Dec 22: The Karachi Zoological Gardens has been without a vet for many days after a new director took over, it emerged on Thursday.
Dr Kazim Hussain, a senior vet and additional director of Safari Park, was previously looking after the zoo affairs following the suspension of its chief and zoo's lone vet in the lion cub case.
He has been replaced by Bashir Sadozai, who has no expertise in the upkeep of captive animals and was earlier handling media affairs in the city government, according to sources.
The absence of a vet, sources said, would further compromise the wellbeing of over 800 animals at the zoo that faces multiple problems in the absence of experts and trained staff.
The 'missing cub'
Meanwhile, no FIR has yet been lodged to investigate the whereabouts of a lion cub which got 'disappeared' at the zoo when three out of total four cubs were found dead in their cage on Aug 12.
The report of an inquiry, ordered by the Karachi administrator (currently KMC administrator), had recommended a police investigation into the matter. While the KMC administrator had suspended three zoo officials for negligence in the case, he seemed little interested in carrying out further investigation by police for reasons best known to himself.
Sources said the police had filed a report to the SSP (South) stating that the police had recorded statements of the zoo employees but they couldn't act more in the case, because the KMC had not yet nominated a complainant to lodge an FIR nor it had provided a copy of the investigative report to them.
It's worth noting here that two pairs of lions were confiscated by the customs authorities at the Karachi airport last year on grounds that the animals were being imported on an expired permit. The big cats were handed over to the Sindh wildlife department which shifted them to the zoo citing that it had no such facility to keep wild animals. While the matter was still pending in court, a lioness gave birth to four cubs. The cubs could survive just for five days. Three of them were found dead in their cage and the fourth one went 'missing' the same day. Dawn
Speaking to , Karachi Zoo Director Bashir Sadozai said that the FIR would be lodged next week.
He also claimed that he had prepared the case for the vet's appointment.
“I have started my work by resolving some basic issues, which had been a source of inconvenience to visitors and zoo staff for a long time, such as fixing sewage system, the removal of garbage and taking care of the repairs,” he said.
He said he was particularly concerned about the presence of a large number of water bowsers near the main entrance that greatly hampered visitors' arrival to the zoo. He claimed that the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board chief had also been approached for the removal of a hydrant.
Mr Sadozai said that he would welcome experts' advice and guidance in zoo management, admitting that he had no technical expertise. “It would take me some time to look into the issues directly affecting animal well-being. And, I definitely need expert's support in this regard.”
He added that the government intended to make the zoo independent by setting up a body to oversee its affairs.