IHC lambastes authorities for 'incompetence' over death of animals at Marghazar zoo

Web Desk
August 03, 2020

Chief Justice Athar Minallah says that the federal government has been exposed by this incident

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Chief Justice Athar Minallah says that the federal government has been exposed by this incident. Photo: File

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) lambasted the authorities on Monday for showing laxity over the death of a lion and a tigress during the transfer of animals from the zoo to a sanctuary.

A lion and lioness had died while being shifted from Marghazar Zoo to a sanctuary. A video obtained by Geo News showed mismanagement on part of the zoo officials as the zoo staff could be seen in the video, setting fire in the cage and using sticks to scare off the animal but it got frightened and confused instead.

IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah remarked that those who cannot take care of animals, how they will take care of human beings.

Criticising that all this is the incompetence of the Wildlife Management Board, the CJ said that the court had already written in its order about who would be responsible if something happened to animals.

"The Minister for Climate Change is Zartaj Gul. Why not start contempt of court proceedings against all these members in charge? Has an FIR been registered against all them?" the CJ asked, adding that the federal government has been exposed by the incident.

The court also issued notices to the secretary ministry of climate change and chairman wildlife management board to appear before it tomorrow.

Earlier on Saturday, the medical report of the lion who died while being shifted from Marghazar Zoo to a sanctuary, a few days ago, revealed that the animals had been kept hungry and thirsty as well.

The medical report, obtained by Geo News, stated that the lion had gotten weak as he was kept hungry and thirsty at the zoo.

The report further mentioned that while the lion was being shifted to the sanctuary, it was kept in an enclosed place, which caused additional discomfort and led to the animal feeling suffocated. It said that various wildlife laws were violated while the animal was being transferred from the zoo.

The medical report also revealed that the lion's lungs had darkened in colour due to bleeding. It said that the animal, besides being denied food, was not vaccinated and swelling was observed in its lungs and liver.

Several animals at Islamabad zoo dead

Moreover, zoo officials had admitted that six deer had died during transfers so far. These included two spotted deer, two elks, and one Indian gazelle.

In addition, they acknowledged that a Belgian Blue cow, as well as a lion, lioness, and ostrich each, had also died. Officials said the bird had died due to a cloth being tied over its face.

In this regard, zoologists have opined that the reason animals were dying was transfer processes being carried out during unfavourable weather conditions.

Cold weather, on the other hand, is a good choice for the shifting of animals, the experts said.



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