Home Conservation News Incarceration or Education? City Plans to Import Humboldt Penguins to Rani Bagh Zoo

Incarceration or Education? City Plans to Import Humboldt Penguins to Rani Bagh Zoo

Incarceration or Education? City Plans to Import Humboldt Penguins to Rani Bagh Zoo

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) “big makeover” plans for the Rani Bagh zoo in Byculla, Mumbai, is more insensitive than ambitious. They plan on bringing about six Humboldt Penguins into the Veermata Jijabai Bhosle Udyan – Mumbai Zoo by the end of this year and eventually plan on importing more exotic species into the zoo to increase its “attraction value”. A fund of Rs. 2.4 crore has been set aside to buy the three pairs of penguins from Thailand.

Visitors are often found feeding and teasing the animals at the zoo. Courtesy: PAWS – Mumbai.

Experts and activists are extremely skeptical of this move. The zoo has an abysmal track record in the treatment of its past and present animal denizens. Deaths and suffering shroud the image of this zoo, and to now expand the zoo to make more space for exotic species defies reason.

Zoo professionals across the globe agree that the only plausible justification for incarcerating animals in enclosures is to breed endangered species for release back into their natural habitat. The BMC has no such intention for its "Project Penguin". Experts insist that it would be a lot more sensible to put efforts and funds into improving the current lot of animals in their existing enclosures.

Humbolt Penguins are listed in Appendix I of CITES. The list of species to be imported made by the BMC comprises 'most endangered' species threatened with extinction. CITES prohibits international trade of the species except for non-commercial purposes. As India has signed CITES, the import of these animals will be violating the rules.Plants & Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) – Mumbai founded by Sunish Subramanian Kunju has written to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to take much needed steps to combat the neglect and cruelty inflicted on the animals at the Mumbai Zoo and requesting to revoke the permission to bring in any new species, especially the Humboldt Penguins into the zoo.

Courtesy: PAWS – Mumbai.

PAWS has recently undertaken a campaign asking Mumbaikars to say NO to Zoos. It has compiled a detailed Citizen Inspection Report which you can read here to know the present abysmal state of the Rani Bagh Zoo and the pathetic state of the animals there.

Visit their Facebook page. We say NO to ZOO to join PAWS in their endeavour.

You can read the letter written by PAWS – Mumbai to the CZA here.

Author: Purva Variyar.

     
     
     

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