The bright lights and noise of crackers may spell festivity for us, but Diwali is definitely not the best time for inmates of the Lucknow zoo, which is located right in the middle of a densely populated area.
During this period, animals are restless and in a state of perpetual shock. Dr Utkarsh Shukla, deputy director Lucknow zoo, said the loud sound of crackers scares them and they start running around in their enclosures.
On Diwali day the situation is such that a few animals stop having meals due to fear.
Year after year, zoo authorities send personalised requests to Narhi residents to avoid bursting crackers. And their efforts have shown positive response also.
“Residents have become sensitive towards this cause. People don’t burst crackers as much now and even when they do, they are very careful not to use the loud ones,” he said.
A few animal lovers also staged a street play near the zoo gate to make visitors aware about the ill effects of crackers on animals.
At times, if people are not careful, parts of crackers also land up inside the zoo premises or enclosures.
A few years back a rocket landed up in a deer’s enclosure resulting in a fire that scared the herd of deer. Though no casualties have taken place in recent times, crackers still disturb the animals.
During Diwali, zoo authorities have to be extra careful and ensure that there are no problems for the inmates.
Zookeepers have to keep water and other necessary equipment ready to deal with an emergency situation.