Ranchi, Sep 17 (PTI) Concerns were raised about the care given to the animals lodged in Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park here, Jharkhand’s largest and most visited zoo, after it failed to make it to the top 10 in a ranking list prepared by a central government agency.
Spread over 104 hectares of area in Ranchi’s Ormanjhi area, the biological park secured 17th position among 23 medium category zoos in the country in the maiden Management Effective Evaluation (MEE-ZOO) Report, which was released recently.
Jharkhand has two other zoos – Tata Steel Zoological Park in Jamshedpur and Jawaharlal Nehru Biological Park in Bokaro. They got 11th and 15th positions on the list respectively.
“Animal health is being compromised at Birsa zoo. There is only one veterinarian for the entire zoo. There is neither a veterinary assistant nor a pathologist. If the regular veterinarian goes on training or leave, there is no one to look after the animals,” former state wildlife board member DS Srivastava told PTI.
The Ranchi zoo has about 1,450 animals belonging to 83 species of mammals, reptiles and birds.
A few months ago, all foxes in the zoo died due to a viral infection, Srivastava said.
All seven foxes in the zoo died of the highly-contagious canine distemper virus (CDV) in a span of around one month since the first week of March.
The report prepared by the Central Zoo Authority also raised several issues concerning Birsa zoo such as the lack of a master plan, disaster management plan, health advisory committee, captive breeding of animals and landscape management.
Birsa zoo director Jabbar Singh, however, told PTI that the biological park did not fare well in some categories such as procedural delay on the master plan or health advisory committee.
“But the report doesn’t have any negative comment on animal health and their upkeep. During the evaluation at the zoo, the evaluators said it was one of the best zoos in the country in terms of animal health and upkeep,” Singh said.
On the zoos of Jamshedpur and Bokaro, the report said that they should mobilise additional funds and adequate staff, while improving hygiene.
The Central Zoo Authority evaluated all the zoos based on different parameters such as management and effectiveness and, marks were given after that.
There are 147 recognized zoos in the country categorized as large (17), medium (23), small (33), mini (60) zoos and rescue centres (14). In this phase, 39 zoos from large and medium categories were evaluated.
All biological parks of Jharkhand fall in the ‘medium’ category. PTI SAN NN NN
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