The Aurangabad municipal corporation on Thursday suspended at least eight employees and stopped the increments of all officials connected with the maintenance of its zoo, where the death tool of black bucks in the last one and a half has now mounted up to a whopping thirteen.
Dean of the government veterinary college, Mumbai, Dr Abdul Samad, who conducted clinical examination of the surviving black bucks, on Thursday said a severe deficiency of zinc had lead to a series of critical illness among the bucks in the last two years.
With the on set of a summer the zinc deficiency had rendered the animals? skin dry, leading to cracks from where a multitude of virus must have entered, the dean said. ``The situation then becomes chronic and turns fatal, Dr Samad said, fearing that the surviving bucks may soon meet with the same fate.
The findings have put a big question mark on the officials at the zoo, many of who mysteriously proceeded on long leaves ever since the first of the black bucks occurred on April 17, 2007.
Interestingly, it was only on May 1, that the AMC Municipal commissioner, Mr Ashim Kumar Gupta, first came to know of the deaths in the zoo.
``While only a full scale enquiry can nail down the exact officials, one thing is sure at the moment that the officials by not informing seniors of the deaths in the zoo deprived the animals timely relief measure that the administration could have undertaken, Gupta said, talking to Hindustan Times.
The Mayor, Dr BK Karad, a pediatric surgeon, however, laid most of blame for the deteriorating standards of management at the zoo on its head, Dr R Rizvi. ``I will first have to look if Dr Rizvi, had indeed officially applied for the leave he availed during the time the bucks were dying, he told Hindustan Times.