Single document detailing deaths to be prepared for more effective corrective measures
The National Zoological Park, better known as Delhi zoo, has undertaken an analysis into deaths of 245 animals over 14 months from April 2018 to June 2019. “We were also surprised by the high number of deaths and the analysis was ordered to prepare a single document in tabular format to understand whether there are any particular reasons leading to the deaths,” a zoo official toldThe Hindu. Currently, though post-mortems are done when animals die, they are maintained as different documents and there has been no proper cross-analysis. Multiple irregularities in the zoo, including false post-mortem reports of animals during the tenure of the previous zoo Director, were found in a 2016 report by D.N. Singh, then Member Secretary of Central Zoo Authority. In June 2019, following a High Court order, the zoo had submitted an inventory report to the court after conducting a census of the animals. The court issued the order while hearing a petition by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi on alleged “abnormal mortality rate” of animals in the Delhi zoo and “criminal conspiracy by the zoo officials”. Though two tiger cubs born in the zoo died in August 2018, they were not part of the birth and death table in the inventory report submitted to the court. “Three cubs were born in total. One was stillborn, another lived only for a day and the third died before even opening its eyes. Such births and deaths are noted in a separate register,” said a senior zoo official.
“It’s a scam. The census was ordered by the court and the separate register was not part of the submission made in the court. Now they (zoo authorities) claim that there is an additional register, but it’s simply not possible,” claimed Ms. Maulekhi.