Saturday, December 24, 2011
114 animals sick in state zoos.
Of 114 animals, 77 lions and 17 tigers were rescued from circuses between 2000 and 2006 and some captured after they strayed into human habitations. The indisposed animals are being given treatment at the two animal rescue centres in Visakhapatnam and Tirupati zoos, according to the AP Zoos Authority.
“Generally big cats live for 15 to 20 years but 40 sick animals which are more than 20 years old, are being treated at animal rescue centres. As we take care of sick animals carefully, many are able to survive more than their average age,” said P Mallikurjana Rao, director of AP zoos.
“Apart from big cats, every week around 20 animals on an average fall ill in the state zoos,” said P Srinivas, veterinary assistant surgeon, Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad.
The three zoos house about 130 species, including 886 mammals, 1,751 birds and 471 reptiles. At the Hyderabad zoo, one old sloth bear, an Asiatic lion, two tigers, one crocodile, one spotted deer and nine other animals have minor wounds. Of this, the injuries to the leg of a rhino brought from Pune to Hyderabad in August are a concern. Its yet to recover and has been kept off display since its arrival.
At the Tirupati zoo, two tigers and three deer are suffering skin diseases. At Visakhapatnam, one white tiger and two sambhar deer and emus have bruises.
In the last nine months, 35 animals died while being handled by staff at the three zoos. In the last three years, the number of deaths were 68 in 2010, 85 in 2009 and 105 in 2008.
"We have been able to decrease the animal mortality rates due to better treatment by specilised veterinary doctors and latest facilities,” said Vizag zoo curator G Ramalingam.
But some animal rights activists are worried because 35 animals have died in zoos. Mahesh Agarwal, a member of People for Animals says, “Animals are very sensitive and once they are brought out of their forest habitats into an enclosed space, they are deprived of their natural lifestyle and food.”
He, however, offered help for animals.