Big trouble in Marghazar Zoo

Published October 30, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: Tales of neglect continue to pour out of the city zoo.

The zoo first saw the death of a lion in 2008 and most recently of Saheli, a female elephant, which was one of the main attractions for vistors to the zoo.

The latest to die at Marghazar Zoo is a Neelgai. Besides, an Urial, a wild sheep with winding antlers, suffered injuries during the Eid holidays.

There was also a disclosure from an inside source that the male elephant at the zoo might end up like Saheli.

The Urial was injured in the F-8 enclosure of the zoo, which is a residential area and is in full glare of the public.

According to a police source posted in the area: “There have been plenty of stories of theft and negligence emanating from the enclosure.

Sometimes animals die for no reason at all and there have been reports of theft as well.”

But so far no legal proceedings have been undertaken.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) seems to be already towing the official line and has sent Neelgai’s body for postmortem to the National Veterinary Laboratory (NVL).

Director-General (DG), NVL, Dr Qurban confirmed that Dr Rehana Anjum had done the postmortem of the animal but he said that the reason of the death could be confirmed only after the report was issued.

“Senior Scientific Officer Dr Rehana Anjum did the postmortem of the animal and collected samples for further tests to find out the reason of the death,” he said.

Deputy Director Zoo Dr Saleem Ansari said that the reason behind the death of the Neelgai would be confirmed after getting a postmortem report.

And for the Urial, the official said: “There was a wound on the head, which has been washed and the necessary ointment applied.

“Hopefully it will be fine within a few days. It seems that Urials fought with each other due to which one of them was wounded.”

An official at the zoo, requesting not to be quoted, said that because of the alleged negligence of the zoo management, problems have been increasing continuously.

The official warned that after the death of the female elephant, the male elephant might suffer the same fate.

“The male elephant had been chained for five months, due to which his legs are wounded. The elephant is worth Rs20 million. It should be unchained, otherwise he could also die just like the female elephant but the management is not ready to listen,” he added.

Another official requesting anonymity said there was politics – internal management rifts – going on in the zoo, due to which animals have been suffering.

“Extension work is going on in the zoo and every director wants to give the contract to his favourite contractor. Also animals and medicines are being stolen,” he claimed.

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