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Friday, March 3, 2017

are animals sheltered at Zoo - sad tales of man's greed !!

Children are gleeful when they animals ! – villagers too are happy visiting Zoos, may not be the same with city man.  The sprawling Vandalur attracts many visitors – and many were disappointed as it remained closed during Pongal, having not recovered from the devastation of Cyclone Vardah.  According to zoo officials, more than 15,000 trees  had been uprooted in the cyclone; there were other damages too, to pipelines supplying water to the moat area, electric poles and the like.. .. .. ..  now it is open to Public, and is in news !

While the purpose of Zoo is different, the animals do face different types of trouble from the visitors ! – and also because they are kept as exhibits, in not so natural surroundings !

Many of Delhi zoo’s crowd-pullers are facing a peculiar situation -- the problem of missing mates. The National Zoological Park has two female rhinoceros, a female hyena, and one male each of African elephant, panther, jaguar. All these animals are missing a mate.  Solitary confinement is indeed cruel and animals are likely to live lesser than their normalcy. 
new born Bactrian Camel - credit : denverpost

Away at El Salvador, the gruesome killing of Gustavito, an adored hippo, attacked and badly mauled with metal bars and knives has shocked even the Nation, where killings are so high.  Close on its heels, comes the news of a  group of visitors at a Tunisia zoo stoning a crocodile to death. The municipality of Tunis posted gory pictures on Facebook of the dead animal’s head next to what appeared to be a bloodied paving slab and another large rock. “A group of visitors to the zoo threw stones at the head of a crocodile, causing internal haemorrhage that killed it,” it said. The municipality said the act at the Belvedere Zoo in central Tunis was “savage behaviour”.

Afar, South Lakes Safari zoo, in USA, whose licence is up for renewal, had a death rate of 12% of its inhabitants between 2013 and 2016  The zoo was fined last year after a zookeeper was mauled to death by a tiger in 2013. There have been damning condemnations over the death of many animals due to causes including emaciation and hypothermia and authorities are contemplating persecution of the owner of the zoo.  A damning report into conditions at South Lakes Safari zoo in Cumbria, which is home to more than 1,500 animals, found that 486 inhabitants had died. 

Heard of ‘Erycinae’ -  a subfamily of nonvenomous snakes, commonly called boas – this post on sand boa.  Quite often, we read about arrests made for illegal possession of sand-boa and their trade. TOI reports that Wildlife officials have arrested three people for attempting to steal a pair of sand boas from the Arignar Anna Zoological park at Vandalur on Wednesday .

Investigators said they apprehended two men who broke into the sand boa enclosure and, on interrogation, also nabbed the mastermind of the heist, Lakshmanan, 38, of Teynampet.Lakshmanan revealed he has links to the underworld. A senior official said the zoo had a dozen sand boas and some of them were very large. The snake commands a hefty price -several lakhs of rupees -because of the superstition that large and heavy sand boas bring their owners anything from a treasure to an affluent life to good luck, and even act as a magical cure for ailments such as joint pain. Foresters said Samson, 44, of Gowrivakkam, and Selvakumar, 53, of Kilkattalai, pretended to be regular sightseers on a visit to the zoo;  the men lingered around the sand boa enclosure even after 6pm, when the zoo shut for visitors.

“One of them went to the rear of the enclosure and broke open the lock,“ a forest official said. “The pair then entered the paddock and took a pair of sand boas. After leaving the enclosure, they realised the boas they took were not that heavy , so they dumped them in a dustbin.” Zookeepers were guiding the last of the stragglers out of the zoo and preparing to close the facility for the day when they came upon two men who told them they saw sand boas in a dustbin.

They retrieved the snakes and, noticing that the two men were acting shiftily,  tried to detain them for questioning. But the thieves took to their heels. The zookeepers gave a chase and apprehended the duo. They alerted senior wildlife officials who arrived to question the men. The thieves said they were acting on the instructions of Lakshmanan of Teynampet. Foresters filed cases against members of the gang under several sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.They are continuing investigation into the crime.

A senior forester said neither of the two men was aware of the value of the sand boas. “They were only aware the snakes could be sold for a good price,“ he said. Debunking the irrational belief about sand boas, another official said the snake was a boon to farmers as a predator of rats and because it moved the earth in layers, enabling aeration.

Man and their devious desires of making fast money !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

3rd Mar 2017.

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