As per Central Zoo Authority, Delhi Zoo recorded 325 deaths in 2016-17 from an opening stock of 1,259 animals.
New Delhi: The National Zoological Park has come under the scanner for reportedly fudging the number of animal deaths in its annual inventory report for 2017. According to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), the Delhi Zoo recorded 325 deaths in 2016-17 from an opening stock of 1,259 animals. The closing stock of the zoo during this period stood at 1,202 animals.
The reports, however, claimed that the city zoo misreported on the number of animal deaths during 2016-17 and also faltered on maintaining proper postmortem reports. A zoo official said, director Renu Singh will release a statement in response to the allegations. “We have come across reports and the director will soon issue a statement in this regard,” he added.
CZA member secretary D.N. Singh told reporters that an explanation has been sought from the Delhi Zoo in the matter. The zoo’s former veterinary officer Pannerselvam said, it was mandatory to submit postmortem reports and record the mortality and birth rates of inmates to the zoo director.
He said, “Misreporting animal deaths and not maintaining autopsy registers is a serious anomaly. We used to regularly submit all these records and discuss any abberation with the director. If such practices are not followed, the zoo authority will put the inmates’ lives into danger.”
A series of animal deaths has been ailing the Delhi Zoo in the recent past. Last year, four monitor lizards died of shock in the zoo, after a ranger reportedly pulled them out of their hibernation enclosure. Similarly, a spate of hog-deer deaths had hit the zoo in 2015. The zoo’s only giraffe also died of kidney failure sometime ago. In 2015-16, three out of the seven lion-tailed macaques living inside the zoo, died under unnatural conditions. In September 2016, a 14-foot-long King Cobra, the only one in the zoo, died. In July 2016, a female ostrich was found dead under mysterious circumstances inside the zoo.