In a never before kind of seizure from a zoo, the forest department here has taken into possession over 90 skins of black bucks, some tigers and lions and their skeletons, and even an elephant tasks, found inside a room at the Siddarth garden zoo of the Aurangabad municipal corporation on Friday.
While the zoo in charge, Dr SV Rizvi, who is already surrounded in a controversy following the sudden death of over 13 bluck bucks last month, has said the remains were lying at the zoo for the last fifteen years as forest officials had failed to turn up to collect them.
According to a procedure laid down by the central zoo authority, such remains should be handed over to the forest officials soon after the death of the animals.
, deputy conservator of forest, AS Chandramore, however, ridiculed Dr Rizvi's contention saying no responsible officials would ever let such things lie with him so long. Chandramore, who has set up a three member committee that will report to him in two days over how the trophies piled up, said he very much doubted Rizwi had at all ever written to the forest department to take them in possession.
In the early 90s, the central zoo authority had no specific guidelines on the dispossessing of the remains of dying animals in zoos, that prompted the zoo officials to keep the skins, skeletons for themselves. But since 1995 the central zoo authority has directed that the animals be buried without being skinned.
But in two days time, the committee is likely to come out with the truth, verifying from data and inspection whether the animal deaths were recent or a decade earlier as Dr Rizvi claims it to be.