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July 31, 2020

‘Our heads should hang in shame’: IHC slams climate change ministry for politicking over zoo animals

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July 31, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday lambasted the Ministry of Climate Change for politicking over animals, especially those in the federal capital's Marghazar Zoo, with Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarking that "our heads should hang in shame".

During a hearing over delays in the transfer of bears from Islamabad's Marghazar Zoo, Justice Minallah expressed anger over a lack of protection given to the bears, as well as the issue of their transfer elsewhere.

The top judge observed that at least 40 giraffes were brought to the zoo from abroad and all of them are dead. "Our heads should hang in shame! The Ministry of Climate Change is responsible for such treatment of animals," he said.

"In this entire case, it only engaged in politicking. The ministry is only interested in making statements and engaging in politics. [It] is responsible for harming God's creatures," he added.

The judge also mentioned that the court was observing the conduct of everyone engaging in politics over zoo animals. The administrator of the Balkasar Sanctuary, Dr Fakhar, also appeared during the court hearing, saying the bears were safer in Islamabad than the shelter in Punjab's Chakwal city.

Earlier, reports emerged that the lioness in Islamabad's Marghazar Zoo had died and the lion was nearing death. A video obtained by Geo News showed mismanagement at the zoo while the lion was being taken out of its cage. According to the clip, the zoo staff had set fire in the cage and used sticks to scare off the animal but it got frightened and confused instead. Sources informed Geo News that the lion sustained injuries due to the staff's mismanagement during its transfer from Marghazar Zoo to Lahore.