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Four more deer deaths in zoo

KARACHI, Jan 12: Four more deer died at the zoo on Saturday, raising the death toll to 10 in recent days.

Although zoo officials refused to confirm the deer deaths that took place on Saturday, sources told Dawn that at least three white fallow deer (two females and a male) and a female hog deer were found dead in their enclosure in their cages while an urial — which is a kind of wild sheep — had also fallen ill and a brown fallow deer had not yet recovered.

Earlier, four white fallow deer and two hog deer — all females — had died of an unknown disease.

Speaking to Dawn on Saturday, director zoo Bashir Saddozai said: “The information is incorrect. No death took place today.” Regarding the lab report, he said that it had not been submitted yet.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) set up a four-member committee on Friday to inquire into the animal deaths and it was expected that the report would be submitted within three days.

The committee, according to a notification, will explore the cause of sudden deaths of animals at the zoo, look into the procedure of samples already taken from dead animals and can order for fresh samples if they are not satisfied, inspect cages where dead animals were kept, fix responsibility for the animals’ death, suggest preventing measures to avoid disease and deaths in future and consult experts on the KMC experts panel to reach at a ‘fair, transparent and just conclusion’.

The committee members will also be involved in the upkeep of animals at the zoo and will check their cages and health status on a regular basis and suggest measures for improvement.