Carers who can save animal lives in zoos

By: Asem Mustafa Awan

ISLAMABAD: They live a life of a bird roaming from one place to another but what they have in abundance is the love, care and compassion for the animals which is unfathomable unlike the staff employed by government who is at the killing rampage.

The voiceless creatures which couldn’t tell the agony while dying was there on the internet and the world witnessed the murder of the lions. How they were killed showed the incompetency of the staff who had no clue how to handle the animals.

Buying the government job is a norm since long you don’t get a job but you buy the job through money, connections and what not.

The result is there and speaks loudly. People getting employed in the game reserves are not fit for the job. Right man for the right job is the concept of the west and they have people who have excelled and achieved heights world look up to. Sadly in Pakistan the murder of the lions during their transfer is a stigma on the Ministry of Climate Change which was carved out to look after parks, sanctuaries, game reserves and like.

Did anyone get sacked or punished is a story that will never see the daylight and life goes on at the expense of these poor animals who have been in captivity and have their cubs, kittens and babies stolen at regular basis for the people who have the money and power to buy the law. The rich elite in Pakistan have been displaying lions in their rallies while the wildlife act in constitution of Pakistan states a different narration.

See Also: Three decades of captivity; Board sits down for Kaavan release to sanctuary

The giraffes under animal exchange programme all died in two years and their deaths are unaccounted for, a cheetah not long ago was killed as keepers kept two males in same space and one of them died. All these incident speak volumes of incompetency prevailing in the sector which has people drawing salaries for years and are on killing spree.

The ostrich in its transfer also died within 24 hours all these are incidents reported in the media. The solution is right in front but government will take the initiative as those who are capable are the ‘out casts’.

The picture is unique as it has four animal handlers with twice the number of creatures and all are at peace. The dogs, long horn goat and monkey are all sitting relaxed and enjoying the trust of their handlers who sip their morning tea before going in different direction to show their skills. None of the animal is skinny or weak while their handlers in withered clothes and shoes show hard times. These animals are cared for as with these creatures they earn their livelihood and these animals are their life lines.

See Also: Half a century in captivity Cassowary survives all his handlers

Wildlife department at times take their animals especially the people who walk with bears. Bears come in endangered species. The wildlife department neglects the handler who is also in endangered category and is a real asset. None in wildlife department and sanctuaries can handle or wrestle the bears as they draw the salaries and live the life of ‘unaccounted for accountability’ besides thieving and stealing from the animals which cannot name names.

These people are in few thousands and have the requisite skills to handle the animals unlike thousands of people employed in the parks and sanctuaries which dole out dead animals on regular basis.

This scribe leaves the debate open for level of competency and care for the decision makers who can and may make the difference in many a lives of both humans and animals following the golden principle ‘right man for the right job’.

Kaavan after three decades of captivity has his freedom while cassowary in Lahore has spent over half a century in captivity. They have lived this long surviving their cruel handlers over the years, who while neglecting them have gone six feet under. They are alive and have stories to share of the lives they have spent before going down.