Oct 13, 2019

328 animals in zoos died within last 2 years Featured

328 animals belonging to the Department of National Zoological Gardens, had died within the 2 years from 2016 and 2017.

This was revealed in a report titled, Utilization of the Zoological Development & Welfare Fund for the benefit of Animals, issued by the Auditor General’s Department.

Accordingly, the lack of quarantine facilities to animals, diseases and other related causes, instances where medical instructions were not followed when animals were transferred from one place to another, failure to treat elephants and tuskers on a regular basis, non-availability of animal creches, and failure to provide proper medication were the main reasons for the 328 animal deaths.

Moreover, an issue pertaining to animal and employee welfare had arisen due to the detention of 18 elephants in the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, following a court order.

It was revealed, sufficient protection for employees was not in place due to the unavailability of proper cages for the elephants.

Audit observations reveal the code of ethics and law issued by the World Animal and Aquarium Association were not followed when transferring 29 animals from the Dehiwela zoo to other zoos.

The report adds, two flying squirrels brought to the Dehiwela zoo from the Hambantota Safari Park died within two months.

It adds, faeces of the rhinoceros not appropriately disposed of had mixed with its food, resulting in the animal to fall victim to a fatal diseased condition.

The report adds, until date, the Department was unable to explain what had happened to the untraceable animals.

Audit observations reveal, that the wall of the lion island was cracked, and was not repaired even up to the 09th of June 2018. The report adds it was insecure for visitors to watch lions.

The key observations of this audit also include non-supply of foods, in sufficient quantity to animals on time.

The report adds, as per the environment safety license issued for the year 2017/2018 for the operation of the Dehiwala Zoological Garden by the Central Environmental Authority, wastewater disposed from the zoo was discharged to a stone-quarry, affecting the public health of the surrounding area.

News 1st inquired about this matter from the director-general of the Dehiwela Zoo, Dhammika Malsinha.

She said she cannot accept the facts revealed in the respective report. She added, the department is committed towards the welfare and protection of the animals.

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