Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Lahore Zoo’s latest victim
* Another white tiger hit by blood parasite
* Zoo: We’re hiring an expert
* Expert: I offered to help, they did not respond
By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE: Another white tiger at the Lahore Zoo has fallen victim to the deadly blood parasite that killed three tigers last week, and while the Wildlife Director General and the zoo management claimed they were about to hire blood parasite expert Dr Tusi to deal with the problem, Dr Tusi denied being updated on the issue.
Lahore Zoo Sources told Daily Times that the tiger was critically ill and could hardly stand. Out of the total six tigers in the zoo, three have already died because of.
Wildlife Director General Imtiaz Tajwar told reporters in a recent press conference that he had contacted Dr Tusi from UAE and planned to hire him to deal with the parasite.
However, Dr Tusi denied talking to Tajwar but said he had called Lahore Zoo Deputy Director Dr Saleem Nasir and offered to donate medicines for the tigers. Tusi said he never got a response from the zoo management or the Wildlife Department. Dr Tusi is an internationally acclaimed blood parasite expert.
Sources said that animals were being given rotten meat, which increases the intensity of the disease, according to experts. Sources accused Deputy Director Dr Saleem Nasir of taking a ‘commission’ from meat contractor Zulfiqar to overlook the quality of meat.
Saleem Nasir said corruption charges against officials were usual. He said sometimes the contractor brings substandard meat, which the zoo management rejects and replaces. He said a slaughterhouse would be set up at the zoo by June, after which the zoo would buy animals and the zoo staff would slaughter them.
Lahore Zoo Director Yousaf Pal told Daily Times that the tiger’s health was improving and the animal was not critically ill. He said the eight-member committee formed by the Livestock Secretary to give recommendations on the problem has finally submitted its report. The committee was directed to submit the recommendations in three days, but took about one month. Pal said the committee in its report regretted the death of three tigers and called it unfortunate.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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