The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has asked zoos across India to heighten security in the wake of the theft of wild animals, especially the exotic ones, from some zoos in the country. The CZA has asked the authorities to ensure that there was 24X7 security for the animals in the zoo.

After the theft of eight marmosets, a rare species of Brazilian monkeys, from the Alipore Zoological Garden in Kolkata on August 8 this year and reported security lapses at zoos all over the country, the CZA sent circulars to the zoos across the country to review and heighten the security arrangements to avoid theft of endangered species of animals and birds.

Accordingly, the eight zoos in Karnataka, including the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden in Mysore, have heightened security for their animals and birds. In fact, even before the circular reached the zoos the authorities had beefed up security at the zoo after getting to know about the theft of Brazilian monkeys from a zoo in Kolkata.

Mysore Zoo Executive Director Vijay Ranjan Singh told The Hindu that additional security personnel had been deployed in the zoo following the recent incidents of theft of animals. “Despite having a private agency to look after the zoo security, we have also deployed ex-servicemen as security guards and one security personnel will be posted at the enclosure of small and endangered animals in the night,” he added.

Mr. Singh said they have put a foolproof security mechanism in place in the zoo. Surveillance cameras have been installed at key locations. Besides, security guards, mostly ex-servicemen, have been assigned specific areas to keep a close watch during the night. A few guards conduct night rounds on bicycles so as to cover every nook and corner of the zoo.

All the eight zoos in the State, including the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden, Mysore, and Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bangalore, come under the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK). While the zoos at Mysore, Bangalore and Shimoga are categorised as major zoos, those at Davangere, Bellary, Gadag, Gulbarga and Belgaum are categorised as mini zoos.

The mini zoos, which were under the Department of Forests, were included under the ZAK in 2002 so that they could be developed on the lines of the Mysore zoo which is one of the oldest and the biggest zoos in the country.

Member Secretary of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka and Chief Conservator of Forests N. Rajanna told The Hindu that he had instructed authorities at major and minor zoos to be on alert and take appropriate security measures for the safety of wild animals housed there.

Mr. Rajanna said instructions to keep vigil had been given to all the zoo staff in the State following the recent incidents of theft of wild animals. “Acting on news reports about the theft in zoos, directions were issued to the managements of zoos to be on guard. They were asked to ensure that proper security arrangements were in place for the safety of the animals and birds,” he said.

Keywords: Zoosafety of animalssecurity

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