Concerned about the condition of zoo premises, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has formed a committee to carry out field appraisal of elephants in large zoos, including the Delhi Zoo. The committee will evaluate if the zoo premises are hygienic and spacious enough for the pachyderms to lead a healthy life.
The committee was formed by the CZA after it received requests from large zoos across the country to re-consider the zoo regulating body’s November 2009 circular. The circular had proposed shifting all elephants in zoos to national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves. “Elephants are large animals, they require more open areas and therefore, need to be shifted,” the circular had said.
“The committee, comprising four members, has been formed as per the Ministry of Environment and Forest's directions. It has been asked to submit its report as soon as possible,” Dr Brij Kishor Gupta, CZA’s Evaluation and Monitoring Officer told HT.
The committee will evaluate zoo facilities and arrangements with respect to animal health and also take a look at whether the elephants’ accommodation was adequate enough. “The available manpower would also be assessed,” the officer said.
CZA’s earlier order was the result of a survey of zoos. There are 140-odd elephants in 26 zoos and 16 circuses across the country. Delhi’s National Zoological Park (NZP) has three elephants, one of them being an African elephant.