The Marghazar Zoo has been thrust into the spotlight yet again for another scandal. After the cruelty against the pair of lions, the authorities have yet again failed us all and a total of 513 animals have been reported missing as of August 15, 2020.
Rare animals mislaid
On the directions of Islamabad High Court, the conditions of the Marghazar zoo had been deemed unfit for the animals and thus it was ordered that they be moved to private shelters. As per the reports published by Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation, there were a total of 917 animals and birds of various species. However, documents dated July 16, 2020 (signed by the Zoo Deputy Director, Ministry of Climate Change Biodiversity Director and the takeover authority, IWMB Chairman) show that only 404 animals have been handed over.
Where are the animals?
The first question that comes to all our minds is where are the animals? As per the official documentation; the total count for various animals has fluctuated including the Spotted Deer that went from 12 to 11 in a year. The population of the Chinkara Gazelle fell from 7 to 3, the Black Buck Gazelle fell from 4 to 3, Urial went from 11 to just 4, Nilgai (Blue Bull) fell to a total of 16 from 18, zebras from 5 to 4, Mallard Ducks from 108 to 74 and Rose Ringed Parakeet from 136 to a staggering 30.
Many hold the opinion that perhaps the animals died due to the obsolete condition of the zoo while some believe that it was perhaps the negligence and the incompetence of the authorities that led these animals to the same fate as that of the pair of lions. Why are such blunders being constantly overlooked? When will the culprits be held accountable for their actions?
Some people also believe that the animals have perhaps been stolen and sold in under the table deals. The real question that has been the cause for an outrage among many is why the government is continuing to trust incompetent and clumsy authorities. Why does the government not take matters into their own hands and take serious legal action?
Is animal cruelty the new notorious norm?
Repeated incidents of animal cruelty and the silence from authorities towards it reinforce it as the new notorious norm. Every day, new videos and posts are surfacing across the internet containing graphic content of animal abuse. Stray dogs in Karachi are being poisoned, lions being intentionally burnt to death, and now there are not one or two but a total of 513 animals missing! Have we really forgotten how to be humane?