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Updated: January 18, 2010 19:11 IST

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Sound off! Harish Prakash is upset with the way people behave with caged animals

Animals are hardly worth seeing in enclosures, I have reminded myself a million times. However, I give in to my mind and head out to see these animals on occasional trips.

I recently visited the Bannerghatta National Park on the outskirts of the city.

As I entered the park, I was taken on a safari trip to see the most majestic members of the cat family, the tiger. Travelling in barricaded vehicles, we found that the tiger in the lair hardly seemed to mind the intrusion of his privacy. We also got a glimpse of a turf war at the lair of the Panthera tigris, between the albino white and the yellow stripped tigers.

The spotted deer ate anything and everything offered by the tourists, from the sweet and salty biscuits to sodium laced chips that people also love to gorge on. A member of the primate species also made some efforts to grab some attention and get some morsels of food.

We also saw a Himalayan black bear with distinctive V-shaped white fur walk restlessly in his cage, while tourists provoked him, to take pictures. The tourists hobbled around with their children occasionally providing nuggets of information such as “That is an Emu, it is the second largest bird after the Ostrich, but it can't fly. It is from Australia. Do you know where Australia is?”

I learnt that an infection had claimed the lives of many animals at the park. The cages placed very close to each other were serving as havens for the spread of disease. Unless they are made animal-friendly, zoo and parks will soon run out of animals to showcase.

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