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April 4, 2021

DMC East parks director told to take proper care of animals kept in mini zoo

Karachi

April 4, 2021

The Sindh High Court has directed the director of parks of the District Municipal Corporation (DMC) East to regularly visit the parks and watch whether or not the animals being kept in a mini zoo are being properly taken care of.

Hearing a petition seeking a better environment for monkeys kept in a public park in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, the court observed that director parks had the job description to regularly visit the parks and to see whether the animals being kept in the mini zoo were being maintained properly or not and also to take necessary measures.

The court directed the KMC’s park director to be vigilant and perform his duties continuously in his territorial jurisdiction.

Petitioner Rida Tahir submitted that the children’s park administration in Gulshan-e-Iqbal had kept three monkeys in a small cage and unhealthy conditions without proper ventilation and a proper diet for them.

She submitted in the petition that cage was very dirty and smelly and the condition in which the three monkeys were being kept did not meet the behavioural, social and physiological needs of monkeys.

She requested the court to direct the park administration to transfer the monkeys to suitable wildlife habitat in Pakistan or provide a suitable enclosure and food as per their diet.

The director parks said the monkeys had already been shifted to a mini zoo at Bagh-e-Rizwan Park where they would be looked after properly.

The counsel for the petitioner expressed satisfaction over the statement of the director parks and wished to dispose of the petition with the direction to the director parks to ensure proper maintenance of animals being kept at parks.

A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, disposing of the petition, directed the director parks to regularly visit the parks and to watch whether the animals being kept in the mini zoo were being maintained properly or not.

Lions’ custody

The court, meanwhile, directed the conservator wildlife to decide an application of a citizen for the renewal of a mini zoo licence in accordance with law.

The direction came on an application of the owner of four lions and a tiger, which were taken into custody by the wildlife department from the Gulshan-e-Hadeed area and their auction was announced.

The applicant had sought custody of his lions and tiger, submitting that two out of the four lions died during the captivity of the wildlife department. The applicant’s counsel also submitted an indemnity bound in the court that he would not export or sell out the lions to

any person and would keep their custody till the final

decision of the court if the custody of lions were given to his client.

He said the licence of the mini zoo was issued to his client but it expired and the matter was already pending before the wildlife department for renewal.

The court directed the conservator wildlife department to decide the application with regard to the renewal of the mini zoo licence within 10 days in accordance with the law and submit a compliance report by April 13.

The wildlife department had earlier held in abeyance the auction of the four lions and the tiger, which were confiscated in August last year from a residential property in Gulshan-e-Hadeed.

A non-governmental organisation had also challenged the decision of the wildlife department to auction the

big cats, and asked for the relocation of these cats to a sanctuary.

The animal rights organisation had submitted in the petition that the assistant conservator wildlife of the wildlife department had ordered an open auction of the four lions and one tiger, which had been recovered from private possession in Gulshan-e-Hadeed without any mechanism or rule.