Monday, October 06, 2008

Atrocities at the Zoo

-By Swetha Amit

It was the image of a petrified leopard on the front page of the Mumbai mirror edition that jolted me out of my sleepy Saturday morning mode. As I frantically tossed over the page to read the story behind it, my feelings were that of disgust, horror and outrage. It almost seemed like a storm brewing out of a teacup literally as my cup of tea almost got knocked over in distress.

The lack of ‘civic’ sense exhibited by the so called ‘civilians’ at the Byculla Zoo seemed to spell atrocity all over. It was shocking to read their appalling treatment towards animals which were chain bound. Adults were found screaming into the lion’s cage to harass the big cats. And another man was caught pounding on the glass of the snake’s abode. Pelting stones and flashing beams with torches: they portrayed nothing but a shame to the civilization altogether

Apparently the zoo authorities reported this as a ‘regular’ stance adopted by visitors towards these helpless creatures. Was this due to an ‘irregular’ monitoring by the ‘concerned’ authorities? It sadly seemed to be the case. It was reported that the shortage of staff was what led to this unruly and hooligan behaviour. Were the latter as helpless as the fauna species? Words like ‘strict vigilance’ seem to disappear conveniently which undoubtedly would enrage animal lovers/activists.

As I pondered on the ‘who is to blame’ theory here, quite a number of them played in my mind furiously. Children who were failed to be taught the manner in which they needed to conduct themselves anywhere. Parents - who seem to shirk off their dutiful stance in imbibing a ‘humane’ touch into their kith and kin? Zoo management who neglected their responsibilities to ensure a no-nonsense approach?

I couldn’t help but compare a rather contrasting situation on foreign soil and reminisce about the safari world in Thailand/Mauritius. Would such instances even occur there? Not in a remote chance. Even a trace of disturbance to the animal would be reprimanded with immense severity. The civic senses there are blended beautifully with compassion and care for the four legged species. The probability of one odd occurrence nevertheless is bound to happen depicting the dark streak of human nature.

Talks about revamping this Zoo with transporting exotic animals from world wide here will remain only a distant dream. After such taunts, do we really deserve to have a Zoo? Instead of admiring the animal kingdom, mankind chooses to indulge in callousness that would drive a psychiatrist to frantically trace the ‘suitable’ remedies. It is an entirely different scenario when being attacked with wild beasts and retaliating in defense.

Such acts of human behaviour fail to reach my comprehending level. Is it considered as an innocent child’s play? That certainly doesn’t justify the same showcased by grown ups. A defense mechanism adopted to scare away the wild? To prove ‘MANpowerment’ over them? A sort of redemption for their earlier attacks by wild beasts? A mere sadistic pleasure?

I couldn’t help but wonder at the irony of humans and animals falling in the same boat without a hint of realization. On one hand we are victims of masked terror who have cast a shadow of insecurity in our own abodes. The unforgettable fear factor which lingers in our minds perennially. And on the other hand the same is meted out to animals in their man made abode.
Written to

Labels: ,


Blogger Whirlwind said...

Comments on MSN:

ayesha parveen - kolkata on 10/6/2008 5:01:38 PM
An eye-opener. Thanks Swetha.

sharmishtha - kolkata on 10/6/2008 6:36:07 PM
if you visit a zoo you will be surprised to observe the behaviour of those outside the zoo, you may even muse that who should be inside. wonderful article.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Unintelligent Guy said...

Wonderful! Very nice to know that there are sensitive and sensible folks around.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...


8:44 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home