Recently we, the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), received a letter from a concerned citizen about the plight of Kaavan the lone African elephant in captivity at Islamabad Zoo. Kaavan was donated to Pakistan by the Bangladesh government 28 years ago. Chained for decades on concrete by all four legs up to 24 hours a day, he is made to endure a life of solitary confinement – considered one of the worst punishments for human beings in jail. It is enough to drive any sentient being to psychosis and is something visitors to the zoo witness on any given day. Continue reading
According to the Born Free Foundation, “Wild animals do not belong in zoos. They belong in the wild.” The barren concrete enclosures of the Karachi zoo are a prime example of the suffering captive animals endure in captivity. Faiza Ilyas’ report in today’s DAWN newspaper quotes zoologist Abida Raees, an official of the zoo, justifying the small cemented cage of the zoo’s lone leopard:
The cage chosen for the leopard was big enough. While the leopard was in its old enclosure, it was always found in its concrete-floored retiring room. So, it didn’t matter if its cage had no other facilities in the old cage.
The Wednesday, December 31, DAWN has a wonderful editorial about the poor state of zoos in Pakistan. Kudos to the paper for having the courage to say it like it is: that we do not need zoos in our country, given the abysmal state of affairs in most of them. It is time we woke up and realized the extent of suffering the captive animals endure in our zoos. Continue reading
In a bid to remove dacoits from Shalo Belo near Sukker, the Sindh Minister for Culture and Tourism, Rauf Siddiqui, is planning a safari park where hunting will be one of the many facilities offered to the country’s recreation starved public. According to a report in DAWN,
It is the present government’s idea to provide maximum possible recreational spots to public.