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Protecting the web of life

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Spellbound: Understanding animals.
Spellbound: Understanding animals.

ROHINI RAMAKRISHNAN

As a part of the zoo school programme, kids from the Police Boys took a ‘learning’ walk in the Arignar Anna Zoological Park.

The world is as delicate and complicated as a spider’s web, if you touch one thread, you send shudders running through all the other threads that make up the web.... I think conservation is one of the most necessary things in a world full on unnecessary activities. Gerald DurrellThe 26 boys from the Police Boys Club, Sembium, absorbed this quote, with which the slide show “The story of life on earth” ended. Seated in the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, auditorium they were part of the Zoo school programme, a mission of the zoo to educate students on the role of the zoo in animal conservation. The slide show was displayed and explained by Dr. Manimozhi.

A wildlife welfare kit and a mini zoo questionnaire were handed out. The slideshow highlighted the different species and the habitats, the web of life, the extinction of some species; the threats that animals face and the consequences. That every species has a specific role to play in nature and that this happened in our daily life was food for thought. That bees help to pollinate and that bacteria helps decompose, were some thoughts. Thus we are interconnected and need each other to sustain life.

Calling themselves the Green Army, the group had taken an oath to keep the planet litter-free. And so, they wended their way through the zoo, admiring the animals, noting down interesting and unique facts and collecting litter in a bag that they carried between them.

Rafeek, Std. X of RBC School, Perambur, who was the main spokesman of the group, said that this was a wonderful opportunity to see a variety of animals in one place, like the giraffe, the kangaroo, the tiger and the lion-tailed monkey. They got to know that this species of monkey was found only in the Western Ghats and therefore needed to be protected. Thrilled by the hauntingly beautiful white peacock, amused by the chimps that behaved “just like us” had them discussing the nature of the animals. The deceptively docile Bison had them awe-struck.

As the storm clouds gathered and the animals that had been sheltering in covered areas due to the intense heat came out, it was time for the boys to leave this haven for animals.

At the zoo

Avoid carrying things in plastic bags.

Do not tease animals by throwing stones or by making provoking noises.

Do not feed the animals. They have their own food habits.

The zoo is a litter-free zone and plastic kills.


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