The plight of Delhi Zoo: Few "demotivated" keepers and the striking figure of animal mortality
Demotivated animal keepers
The CZA has also recommended sending the animal keepers to other zoos to learn best practices.
(In pic: The closed entry gates of the National Zoological Park as Delhi Zoo has been temporarily shut after the death of nine birds, on October 19, 2016 in New Delhi, India.)
Working on a solution
"Instructions have been issued in this regard. The programme will feature the best practices of zoos across the country," he said.
He added that the CZA has also recommended sending Delhi zoo's animal keepers to other zoos, which will rejuvenate them and help them acquire new skills.
(In pic: A zookeeper sprinkles water on Bengal Tiger during hot afternoon in Delhi Zoo, on May 21, 2019.)
Interns and volunteers welcome
"Anyone who loves and cares for wildlife can apply to become a volunteer. For internship, applicants should be students of veterinary colleges and have some background knowledge," Yadav said.
"It will be an unpaid internship programme, but the zoo will provide accommodation to the interns," Yadav said.
(In pic: Sprinklers put in the enclosure of Emu's at Delhi Zoo to to give some respite from heat to the Birds and Animals on June 25, 2012 in New Delhi.)
Severe shortage of staff
"Earlier, the animal section had around 80 employees. Now less than 30, including attendants and gangmen, are left. One cannot expect volunteers and interns to do the work of regular staff," the official said.
The overall staff strength has come down from 350 to 80. There are only 20 animal keepers left in the zoo, the official claimed.
(In pic: A Zoo staff member covers his face while spraying chemicals near a rosy Pelican enclosure to prevent the Bird Flu.)
245 deaths in a year
According to a recently conducted census, the Delhi zoo recorded 245 deaths from April 2018 to June 2019 — the second-highest mortality figure in five years.
The zoo has lost around 10 species of animals, including chinkara, cassowary and ostrich, and 27 animal species do not have a mating partner.
(In pic: Wildlife, Chinkara [gazella])