I found a report [LINK] by P.A.W.S. on the Mumbai Zoo also known as the Jijamata Udyan at Byculla in Mumbai. Though an old one (2006), I looked up pictures on the internet and found that the zoo is still in a sorry state. The animals here seem to be suffering everyday, some injured, some troubled by visitors and others living in small and unhygienic enclosures.
The zoo is managed by the B.M.C. and any animal lover or for that matter anyone with a sane mind will agree that the zoo be shut down and the animals freed from their suffering. There have been regular reports in newspapers about the state the zoo is in but not much has been done about it.
Some of the main problems seen are old, rusty and unsafe enclosures which are often too small for the animals housed in them. Many of the animals are plagued with disorders and diseases mainly skin problems. Some animals like Hyenas who live in packs have been kept in solitary cages leading to boredom and finally resulting in self mutilation. Other animals such as deers and monkeys are also suffer from skin diseases.
The water in some of the enclosures is stagnant and not clean which can also lead to diseases. One of the more surprising things was that sambar deers and crocodiles / ghariyals were kept in one enclosure.
The rhino in the zoo is also in a very sorry state. His skin filled with injuries and open wounds, he runs around abnormally as flies and insects sitting on his wounds irritate him. His horn is also missing and nor does he have a mate at the zoo.
The barking deer and nilgai were kept in one cage which also had metal scrap in it, which can easily hurt the animals. The barking deer also had patches of fur missing which was a result of skin disease.
Three rhesus monkeys were sharing their cage with rats. Their cage was infested with rats which were eating the food given for the monkeys. With rats being major carriers of diseases, this can prove fatal for the monkeys.
The animals are not provided with drinking water at all times and are fed only as per the keepers schedule. Most of the keepers at the zoo are also not fully trained and often lead to more problems for the animals.
The problems don’t end there, the visitors in the zoo are also the animal’s biggest problem. Mentioned in the report, there were cases of people hitting the animals with pieces of wood, pelting small stones at the animals to grab their attention and also giving food to animals as the assistants looked on not caring about the issue. There were also empty gutkha packets next to the enclosures. With people acting so irresponsibly and no one to correct them, it is a matter of time before these animals succumb to their deadly fate!
I would strongly suggest that the zoo be shut down because we don’t deserve one and the animals shouldn’t suffer just so we can catch a glimpse of them.
The pictures below show clearly the condition of the animals and the zoo.
Also check out the article that was featured in Mumbai Mirror on April 13th 2009. [LINK]