By Amit S. Upadhye
The Forest Department has set up a committee to look into the complaint that animal keepers inside the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) are trading in animal parts, which fetch a huge price in the market.
The complaint stated that tiger claws, jaws, leopard claws, hair of sloth bears and elephants are being picked up and being sold in the market by some zoo keepers.
Some keepers are even flaunting tiger claws in their gold locket and elephant hair in gold rings.
The department has instructed to carry out checks on all the living carnivores in the zoo to ensure that animal parts are not traded by caretakers.
There are close to 40 tigers, 20 leopards, more than 80 sloth bears and a dozen elephants.
Conservator of Forests Range Gowda, Director of the Zoo said the committee has completed one round of checking on animals to assess if any animal parts were missing.
“It’s not easy to remove claws from living carnivores and once they die they are buried under the supervision of senior officers. In fact all the post-mortems and burial of carnivores, or scheduled I animals are video recorded. The final report of the committee is awaited,” Range Gowda said.
The animal keepers have also denied the allegations. “It’s not possible for an animal keeper to extract a nail from tiger even if it is sleeping. There is no physical contact with any carnivores as far as zoo keepers are concerned. Only the veterinary officials are allowed to touch the animals during treatment.
Tigress dies at Bannerghatta zoo
Bangalore: A 17-year-old tigress died at Bannerghatta Zoo on Wednesday morning.
The park officials said the tigress was suffering from age related diseases.
The tigress was born at Bannerghatta zoo and was under constant observation by the veterinary staff for the last few months, the park officials said.