At least 150 birds and animals were rescued from a public park in Vasant Vihar Monday where an “illegal zoo” had been set up. The animals were rescued by activist Sonya Ghosh, who said they were kept in small cages, in poor conditions and in violation of rules.
“Two persian cats were kept in tiny cages with no litter box. Their fur had become brown with dirt and faeces… The staff at the park said the animals were being let out of the cages in the evening. They also claimed there were tortoises at the park, which we did not find,” Ghosh said.
The ‘zoo’ also had birds including a turkey, emus, hens, geese, ducks, finch along with rabbits, guinea pigs and persian cats. It was dismantled with help from volunteers and South civic body staff, and the animals and birds were transported to a shelter in Haryana.
A horticulture official of the South civic body, which manages the park, said an MoU was signed with a private firm for the upkeep of the park in 2017: “It was only for maintaining and greening the park. No permission was granted for setting up a zoo. This happened during the lockdown. When we learned about it Monday, we dismantled the structures immediately.”
A senior police officer said, “We got a call from the SDMC about some destruction in the park. However, they haven’t submitted a written complaint. We don’t know about the animals. They didn’t call us to help with the issue.”
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