Highlighting the “pathetic condition” of the central environment ministry’s wildlife division, a retired Indian Forest Service officer has alleged the department gave “factually incorrect” information to ministers.
Dr D N Singh, a former member secretary of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), has written to the Prime Minister, drawing his attention to instances where details shared with MPs in Parliament during question hour were allegedly wrong.
In one such instance from July 26, East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir asked whether the National Zoological Park (NZP) or Delhi zoo has “lost its sheen” with enclosures lying empty following death of several animals.
To this, MoS for environment Babul Supriyo had replied, “Only one enclosure of giraffe is lying empty since June 09, 2015… after the death of last giraffe due to myocarditis and kidney failure.”
Dr Singh claimed the reply was factually incorrect, as the NZP violated a CZA-approved master layout plan, according to which only one species of animal is to be kept in an enclosure. He added that the zoo’s last Chinkara, or Indian gazelle, died on June 14 following which two barking deer were shifted to its enclosure.
An official of the Delhi zoo said, “We have surplus population of herbivorous animals and we have to keep them in separate enclosures to avoid infighting.”