Humboldt Penguins At Rani Bagh Zoo. Incarceration Or Education?
Wild animals in zoos are sad. They have been taken from their natural environment and locked up in cages that are just no fun. They need YOU to speak up for them.
About the Campaign:
Cub kids, can you imagine living your entire life in one boring room, eating the same thing every day, having no toys to play with and not even being allowed to meet your friends? Doesn’t that sound horrible? Well, that is how most animals in zoos live. While it may be fun for us to visit zoos and look at wildlife, for the animals it’s like being in jail. They are bored, lonely and angry. More than anything, they want to go back to the wilds.
The Rani Bagh zoo in Byculla, Mumbai, is known to keep its animals in a horrible condition. The zoo now plans to buy six endangered Humboldt Penguins from Thailand to display in the zoo. These birds actually belong to the South American countries of Chile and Peru, where they thrive along the cold water currents of the Pacific coast. Imagine how unhappy they will be if they are brought to hot and humid Mumbai!
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received almost 23 crore rupees to fund this misadventure. We think the money should instead be spent on improving the condition of the animals already in the zoo, not on imprisoning more animals! Twenty-three crore rupees is a lot of money, and with it the authorities can build bigger enclosures, plant more greenery and develop ‘enrichment’ (fun toys, games and structures to keep the animals active).
Some people say that zoos are important to help us learn about animals. But, just as we can learn about crime without visiting a prison, we can learn about wildlife without visiting a zoo. It is much more fun to watch wildlife in their natural habitat than it is to see animals miserable in steel cages. Go on a safari, spot birds in a park or watch a wildlife documentary at home – all of which are better ways to learn about wildlife.
Now, that you know how animals in zoos are kept, raise your voice and demand that the BMC cancel all plans to import exotic animals to the Rani Bagh zoo!
Illustration: Purva Variyar.
Kids, we know you love animals and want to help them live a happy and free existence. So, tell your family and friends the truth about zoos. The next time someone suggests going to the Byculla zoo, request them to take you for a nature walk to Sanjay Gandhi National Park or bird watching to the Sewri mudflats or to the Delhi Ridge or Banerghatta instead. Get together with your friends and classmates and hold a letter writing campaign! Write to the Central Zoo Authority of India and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and make the following points:
• You love nature and do not need to go to a zoo to learn about wildlife.
• Animals in zoos are sad and no more animals should be imprisoned.
• Humboldt Penguins will not adjust to Mumbai’s climate.
• The money reserved to buy exotic animals should be used to improve conditions for the animals already inthe zoo.
• You will no longer visit any zoos!
Central Zoo Authority, Room No. 25-29,
Middle Wing, Hotel Janpath, Janpath,
New Delhi – 110001.
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai,
Head Quarters, Mumbai C.S.T. – 400001.
Kids, if all of you write to these authorities, they will surely listen! So, stand up for all the imprisoned animals in the world, and raise your voice!