By Faiza Ilyas
KARACHI: More than a week has passed since the death of a Bengal tiger at the zoo but the microchip implanted in the animal before it had been imported to Karachi is yet to be taken out, it emerged on Tuesday.
According to sources, the microchip recovery can resolve the controversy that emerged at the time of the animal’s death over its age. The zoo staff said the veterinary doctor who conducted the autopsy told them the animal was eight to 10 years old while another said that it was 12 years old.
Microchip tagging is done to have a record of an animal’s birth and origin and it is required for international trade in certain endangered animals regulated by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna). Tigers are listed in the Appendix 1 of CITES and are an endangered species according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List.
Additional Director Zoo Aqeel Tazeem Naqvi said: “Nobody told us about the microchip nor did we receive any papers with details about the animal’s origin.”
He claimed that the animal remains had been preserved in a freezer.
A copy of the CITES certificate issued on June 21, 2012 in Brussels and produced by the importer at Karachi airport shows that the male tiger was born in 2008 and got a microchip (250229600035584). The animal’s exporter/re-exporter was Herne Breeding Centre, Belgium while the animal’s country of origin was France.