New Delhi, September 17
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has recommended to start a capacity-development programme for Delhi zoo’s “very demotivated” animal keepers and roping in more interns and volunteers for assistance, a senior official said on Tuesday.
The CZA has also recommended sending the animal keepers to other zoos to learn best practices. “A lot is happening in the zoo and the situation doesn’t inspire confidence. The animal keepers are feeling very demotivated. There's an urgent need to organise a capacity-development programme for them every three months. Instructions have been issued in this regard. The programme will feature the best practices of zoos across the country,” CZA Member-Secretary SP Yadav said.
The CZA has asked the zoo administration to rope in more volunteers and interns for help.
A Delhi zoo official, however, said there’s a severe shortage of staff in the zoo. The overall staff strength has come down from 350 to 80. There are only 20 animal keepers left in the zoo, the official claimed.
The zoo has been in the headlines recently over a large number of animal deaths and allegations of irregularities by staff. According to a recently conducted census, the Delhi zoo recorded 245 deaths from April 2018 to June 2019 - the second-highest mortality figure in five years.
In August, the zoo's last cape buffalo died after eating plastic, prompting the authorities to order a probe into the incident. The zoo has lost around 10 species of animals, including chinkara, cassowary and ostrich, and 27 animal species do not have a mating partner. — PTI
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