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International support for African black fish

delhi Updated: Jun 20, 2010 00:29 IST
Abhishek Sharan
Abhishek Sharan
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

There’s a glint of hope at last for the hundreds of African black fish — dark-scaled nocturnal predators — clamoring for life inside fast-shrinking muddy puddles of what used to be Gurgaon’s brimming Sultanpur jheel (lake).

From Natasha Leite De Moura in Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), to Carin Zellerman in New York (US), from Paola Ghidotti in Milano (Italy) to Indonesia’s Yrna Miryana, 200 individuals from across the globe have joined a campaign to save the aquatic animals at Sultanpur wildlife park.

Responding to HT’s reports on the park management's virtually criminal negligence that has led to the death of a water body that is the lifeline of the centrally protected sanctuary, an international animal rights NGO has begun an online campaign to “relocate” the African black fish and “fill up the lake”.

It is not merely the drying up of the lake that endangers the fish in the park. More cruel than the lack of water is the park management’s lack of empathy. On June 16, HT reported Haryana's Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Dr. Parvez Ahmed, under whose jurisdiction the Park lies, as saying, “It’s dryness gives us a good opportunity to do away with the African Black fish that we definitely don't want … It is a bird sanctuary and not a fish sanctuary."

Using the HT reports, the NGO, The International Organisation for Animal Protection (OIPA) that is headquartered in Milano, Italy, has posted a petition on a website related to animal welfare and rescue, http://animals.change.org/petitions.

The petition is attracting many signatories, including its international co-coordinator Ghidotti.

OIPA's India representative Naresh Kadyan (49), “Support for the African black fish's rescue is pouring in from all over the world. People from all walks of life, from 28 countries, have signed the petition and enlisted for the cause.”

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