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Zoo fails to feed python for over a month


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A 17-foot-long python at its enclosure in the zoo -Photo by
A 17-foot-long python at its enclosure in the zoo -White Star

KARACHI, March 30: The 17-foot-long python that had been brought to the zoo along with 30 other snakes after being ‘imported’ from the US has not eaten anything for more than a month, compelling the zoo administration to finally seek advice from animal experts on how to feed the reptile, it emerged on Saturday.

The python is the largest non-venomous snake currently housed in the zoo, sources said.

“Though some pythons do not eat for months, it is also a fact that the zoo administration didn’t make any effort to provide a clean environment to the imported species, which were just dumped in an enclosure where some reptiles had earlier died,” said a zoo staffer, explaining that lack of suitable environment also prevented the species from eating.

While an albino python has been suffering from a skin infection, an adult crocodile died at the zoo about four days back, according to the sources. They said the croc body was spotted on Friday.

Karachi zoo director Bashir Saddozai confirmed to Dawn the information about the python, but he rejected outright the reports about crocodile’s death.

“We are seeking advice from the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) that also breeds snakes for research purposes at an animal house. The python was earlier shedding its skin and that could be the reason why it hadn’t eaten for such a long period,” he said.

The zoo director insisted that the albino python was alright under ‘expert care’.

The species were seized by customs as they had been imported without a mandatory import permit. After keeping the reptiles for almost a week, customs officials handed over them to the zoo without taking the Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) into confidence. The situation caused the latter to write a letter to both customs and the zoo authorities, warning them of action under wildlife rules.

In a sharp contrast to the reply of the customs department which had questioned the wildlife department’s authority and warned it of action, the zoo responded in a compromising tone though it insisted that the department hadn’t committed any wrong by accepting the python consignment. “The zoo administration is not at fault nor did it take the pythons on its own. It kept these species on the insistence of customs authorities and also to protect the lives of pythons,” stated a letter dated Feb 15.

Comments (16) Closed

Pakman Mar 31, 2013 11:37am
This is a country where humans sometimes don't have enough to eat. What else can animals expect.
Aadil Awan Mar 31, 2013 12:01pm
Close all zoos until this country grows a conscious. In the meantime, use the premises to showcase the country's corrupt politicians and administrators.
Newton Mar 31, 2013 01:17pm
Why have a zoo in the first place if the animals aren't being treated properly? Maybe if certain people..*cough* politicians *cough*..started putting money into worthwhile projects such as animal protection and conservation, instead of their own pockets, there wouldn't be any financial/welfare problems.
`Tamilselvan Mar 31, 2013 02:37pm
They can at least give some wild hog meat or pig meat to these creatures. There'll not be any competition for the meat in Pakistan
observer Mar 31, 2013 05:33pm
Someone in USA take this snake back. Pakistanis are not good enough to raise an animal. (Are Pakistanis asking which religion or sect the python belongs to? This is where mental level of most Pakistanis ends. Look at what was done to Australian sheep recently. Nuclear club member nation does not know ABC of science and shamelessly claims to have the ultimate divine book as its guide. I wish I was born in a civilized country.)
observer Mar 31, 2013 05:39pm
I am not for corruption but politicians and administrators are as corrupt as the entire nation. Our problem is not corruption of politicians but attitudes of the society. Stop balming politicians because when we blame politicians we are actually copying (without really understanding) cynical people of established democracies. These people have the right to criticize their governments because the governments do not deliver 100% (but deliver 85 or 90%, let us say). But for countries like Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, we need to make the concept of civilized state acceptable by strengthening hands of whatever governments we have. The alternative is no government. That may suit some people but means trouble for a great majority.
evilhumans Mar 31, 2013 05:57pm
I salute the reporter of Dawn for this news. perhaps it will save the poor defenceless animal. Wont be nice to let the animal goes back to its importer.. perhaps better luck awaits for the animal at the hands of this importer.
rana1 Mar 31, 2013 05:57pm
Easy,visit the local dalda maker,and one will get a dead rat from them.
evilhumans Mar 31, 2013 06:02pm
CJ should take suo motto and place them ( politicians and administrators) in the enclose cages .. like in Egypt Mubarak was shown once
khalidmurad1 Mar 31, 2013 07:48pm
Thank God they have not eaten up the python themselves. Better take away the poor python befor eit is sold to some 'Nihari Wala'.
Dr, Anupam Surey Mar 31, 2013 11:49pm
hell when u cant take care of animals then why to keep them, as a vet i feel very aweful.
jawad Apr 01, 2013 03:06am
Adil Awan, you have spoken my heart out. Yes let us put the corrupt ones in show case. But who is going to bell the cat?
dr aisha Apr 01, 2013 03:07am
No issue is there is more than enough to eat Pakman. It is the distribution as there is more than enough but there are haves and have nots. The lesser fortunate ones who cannot express themselves are the ones who starve and well. That includes those who are put on a show to get money from which they will not receive payment even in food for their services, like these poor animals whom the public pays to see. If the poor animal could not have eaten anything, then why leave him like that. They should send the poor animals back to the US or where they came from so they can be in a better place where everyone has a bite to eat, including animals as the haves versus have nots posess a narrow divide, unlike Pakistan, where there is a broad divide.
dr imran Apr 01, 2013 04:48am
On the other hand why cant we take benefit of the opportunity and develop capabilities to improve the skills of the zoo employees to deal with such exotic and rare species. this approach of not dealing with the problems and exporting them elsewhere has not worked for us so far. its time to deal with our issues head on. Of course not at the expense of lives of those poor animals.
Vishnu Dutta Apr 01, 2013 09:33am
Karachi Zoo should stop importing poor animals. How many times we have heard animals either died due to hunger or negligence over there.
SA Arsha Apr 01, 2013 09:42am
May be suffering from depression