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1 December 1999 Issue

Animals at Nandankanan Zoo Face Starvation
Source: jai@mantra.com

Bhuvaneshwar, Nov. 12. (UNI) - Animals and birds at the famous Nandankanan Zoological Park are faced with starvation following the devastation wreaked by the super cyclone. The zoo, famous across the world for housing the largest concentration of 24 white tigers and 50 lions, has been closed to visitors for three months as the authorities feared that allowing the public in at this stage would aggravate the already critical situation in the zoo. Big uprooted trees have damaged some of the enclosures and the officials fear that if they are cleared without taking adequate precaution, animals might escape causing panic. Almost all the paths are blocked, hindering movement inside the zoo.

A detailed assessment of the loss of animal life has not been taken up yet but preliminary reports said 13 mammals and 22 birds perished in the cyclone, while 52 reptiles and 58 birds escaped. Zoo officials claim that no predators escaped from the zoo but the staff have been deployed to maintain a round-the-clock vigil to keep the dangerous animals confined to their enclosure. Even 12 days after the cyclone, the zoo is still without power and water. The authorities have managed to arrange for two tankers to bring drinking water but the supply is grossly inadequate. The water mains to the Zoo burst when the trees fell, cutting supply to the tiger and lion safaris and other enclosures. But the situation on the food front is worse. The contractors, who had entered into an agreement with the authorities to supply food, had backed out due to sky-rocketing prices and nonavailability of food stuffs.

Go on to Hunger Strike
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