Thiruvananthapuram: The death of two anacondas in the zoo here this month alone has raised serious concerns about the way animals are treated in the government-run facility.
The giant snakes were only the latest among several animals and birds that died in the zoo recently due to alleged lack of care and unscientific means of keeping them in captivity.
Earlier a tiger, which was brought from Wayanad, also died. There had been allegations that there was no one to look after the tiger.
The outside world is often unaware of this grave situation as most of these deaths have been hushed up.
Though many birds and sambar deers lost their lives recently, their deaths were not logged. As per the official records, as many as 40 birds and animals -- mammals 20, reptiles 8 and birds 12 -- died in the zoo between February and July. But the actual numbers can be higher, said some zoo employees, who did not wish to be named.
The authorities said that diseases were the cause of deaths but they have not revealed details of the ailments. The zoo employees said that close to 100 animals and birds died in the past year. There are allegations that the minister and officials concerned are not serious about the precarious situation.
Concrete structures a threat?
The zookeepers are of the opinion that pitfalls on part of authorities and lack of proper care led to the death of the animals and birds.
An ostrich died under dubious circumstances but the explanation given was that it died due to fever. It is also believed that unnecessary concrete structures also contributed to the death of animals and birds in the zoo. The workers said that the concrete structures were constructed to siphon off money from the zoo fund, and these had adversely affected the ecosystem.
Anacondas cramped into one cage
It is alleged that the anacondas died due to space constraints. Two anacondas were removed from the cage that housed five of them for want of space after the death of the snakes. The zookeepers had earlier pointed that putting all anacondas in one enclosure would be detrimental to them but their words fell on deaf ears.