By: Asem Mustafa
Half a century in captivity, the lone Cassowary has survived all his cruel handlers and directors. Sadly humans in Pakistan are at a very low priority the voiceless animals come way down the order and their pleas and screams stay unheard.
The bird has spent over half a century, in a compound while providing entertainment to all who come to see the zoo captives.
Cassowary tale is one of the untold stories of Lahore Zoo and all people who have kept an ill will against the bird must be questioned as why the bird was overlooked for decades.
This lone bird has seen people who came and visited as children and now bring their grandchildren to see the bird that awestruck them with its colour and composure along with its mate that left him half a century ago.
It is believed there are very few people alive who have seen the bird with its mate as the female bird died due to stress and lack of space.
(It is also rumoured the female bird died due to grief owing to theft of her eggs by cruel staff at the zoo who do side business in selling the exotic birds and animals to rich elite. An established practice prevailing in all the zoos of the country. The corrupt staff in connivance with the higher-ups having no regard for the captive creatures).
These animals and birds need help and sadly there is nothing much that could be done for these ill-fated creatures which have spent years and years behind the bars and cages looking at the people who watch and wave but are never there for them when they need them most.
Chief Justice Islamabad High Court, Honourable Justice, Justice Athar Minallah deserves all kudos as his decision on Kaavan has sent tremors and panic waves in all poachers groups and elites who house exotic birds and animals.
Kaavan the lone elephant in the federal capital has spent three decades enduring the torture enclosed in a pen that was too small to handle the planet’s biggest creature on land. It was none other than Islamabad High Court Chief Justice, Honourable Justice Athar Minallah who gave a stern warning to authorities concerned that there is an act in the constitution of Pakistan which deals with cruelty towards animals. Kaavan has his release papers and now awaits departure to the Cambodian Elephant Sanctuary.
Kaavan has his release ordered by the court. Every minute and hour he spends is a burden on the conscience of all animal lovers who feel the pain for these voiceless creatures and do their best to mitigate their sufferings. United States Singer Cher campaigned many years for Kaavan and shed ‘tears of joy’ on his release.
Kaavan spent three decades and has his head bobbing side to side due to mental health issues owing to the torture he suffered at the hand of his handlers who chained him regularly for hours for many years.
His plight got noticed and the world stood up for the creature which had known no mercy from his handlers and they are the people responsible for his state of mind.
It is high time the authorities dealing with animals and their rights should come forward and look into Lahore Zoo affairs.
The Cassowary’s half a century in captivity leaves a big question mark as why the bird was not paired again? How much ticket sales are done in a year? How much is the spending on animals and the staff? How many animals are there who have spent their life in captivity and their death records? How many animals have bred in captivity and their records?
So many questions are there and there are no answers. The people in zoo earn more with their illegal sales and in a way steal the national exchequer which is robbed since the inception of Pakistan.
This must stop now as animals do have rights and Honourable Justice Justice Athar Minallah who made Kaavan release to freedom possible will be there for the voiceless.
- The humans can be so cruel. They have earned from these birds and animals for over half a century and more and all they could do was to steal their eggs and babies.
- These birds and animals have never voiced their pain they suffer at the hands of their cruel handlers and they die in anguish in their pens.
- The deer and black buck trophies in particular end up in rich elite drawing room where a fake story of famed hunter is aired for the guests.
- The bird has been in captivity for over half a century and was an attraction of Lahore Zoo and people paid money to see the unique bird that is second biggest flightless bird after ostrich.