Mysore Zoo Reports 37 Animal Deaths Since April

India
Mysore Zoo, claiming to be one of the "good" zoos in India has reported 37 animal deaths since April. But shockingly these reported cases are a fraction of the actual number.

The latest death of a tiger and imported anaconda came as a big shock to animal-lovers and it also raised a pertinent question: Are zoological parks increasingly failing to do what they say they do?

Mysore-based wildlife activist S N Girish says: “The animals need special care. Any small mistake can lead to a death. The zoos hardly serve the purpose of wildlife conservation. They should be closed and conservation should be done naturally in the forest.”

Karnataka has fairly two large zoos – Mysore and Bannerghatta and another 5 medium-sized zoos. Statistics show that in all these zoos some 20 percent animals die every year. Of course, the death of endangered species gets mentioned in the newspapers, but that of monkeys, deer, and other less-prized animals often goes unnoticed.

It is no secret that most zoos in Karnataka are in a bad state. In spite of the intensive measures initiated for protection and propagation of wildlife, captive stock is dwindling all over. Nevertheless, many animals are on the verge of extinction and have become a rare commodity in their natural habitat and zoos provide an opportunity to see all such animals.

But most of the animals housed in zoos are not endangered at all, nor are they being prepared for release into natural habitats. Although zoos claim to educate people and preserve species, the effort doesn’t show.

Research shows that animals are psychologically affected by the lack of space and the constant heckling by visitors. The miserable conditions in zoos and the lack of privacy often lead to animals indulging in abnormal behavior and ultimately, in deaths.

All these measures need huge financial investment. At least now, the state government must look into this aspect seriously and put in place a mechanism for proper management of zoos.

Animal  Equality carried out a year-long undercover investigation into the most important zoos in Spain. Zoos, contrary to popular belief, are often little more than psychological torture and extermination centers for animals. Animals are caged for life and deprived of the opportunity to develop and fulfill the full range of their interests and needs. They lose control over their lives and the environment they live in. Social animals are often forced to live in the misery of solitary confinement. Animals who would prefer to live alone are often forced into close contact with others. Some animals are confined next to their predators, and some are held in crammed, barren environments where they are constantly bullied by cagemates.

Animal Equality has observed animals living in squalid environments among their own feces in a state of anxiety. In zoos, many animals are taken from their families and sent to other zoos, or killed when their group size exceeds the space allotted to them.