At a time where the society is collectively persevering to safeguard animal rights and make the world a better place, it comes across as a rude shock to find that a known zoo like Byculla, which has been in existence since 1873 in Mumbai, is failing miserably at up keep of its premises and occupants. As first reported by Mid-Day on October 16, Sunday edition, a survey finding by Central Zoo Authority (CZA) brings to light that the zoo has crumbling enclosures, animals suffering from ill-health and overcrowding.
While the zoo fails to meet the CZA standards, the BMC has asked for an ambitious 150 crores from the centre to renovate the place with an audacious claim to give the zoo an international make over. Sunish Subramaniam, an activist and founder of an animal rights organisation (PAW) shares, “The BMC must take a reality-check, their goals should be practical. The water at the zoo stinks, the enclosures are not in a good condition, the animals suffer from bad health and the staff is not qualified enough to take proper care of the facility and the animals. It is a sorry state of affairs and what doesn’t add up is how the Director of the Zoo denies that there is anything wrong with the place. This place must shut down in the interest of the animals living there.”
As per reports from Hindustan Times, the zoo has been bringing in different species of exotic animals, like the Humboldt Penguins. However weather conditions in Mumbai make it stressful for animals to adapt to the change in their habitat and the overcrowded cages restrict their physical activity.
The recommendations of CZA to Byculla Zoo is to have a more systematic policy for visitors, who often serve as a disturbance to the animals. Even the stray dogs captured by the civic body in the Byculla area are being released in close proximity of the zoo, which should be stopped immediately as they attack animals. For instance, a stray dog allegedly attacked a deer, leading to its death.
The zoo has been criticised prior to this in 2011 and 2012 after many animals started dying at the zoo, either from disease or old age. Zoo authorities were let off with a warning at the time and told to improve the conditions at the zoo, but this year, things seem to have worsened to a point where the CZA was forced to send a notice. The CZA has given the Zoo Authorities time till December to fix the dysfunctionalities of the place as its license expires in December and if the CZA is not satisfied with the standards, this could mean an end for the Byculla zoo.
To understand the other side of the story, we tried getting a comment from Dr. Sanjay Tripathi Director of Byculla zoo however, he was unavailable for comments.
Click here to read the entire report by Mid-Day
Feature image courtesy of Suresh Karkera for Mid Day