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August 24, 2015

The Debate on Zoos

There are zoos and there are more zoos and the debate on zoos will possibly never end. Here is my take.

I feel zoos, if properly maintained like the Mysore or the Sepaijhala Zoo in Tripura, if properly maintained are a great boon to the society. While we have become a bunch of ....... basically uprooting nature till she dies a forced death, zoos actually help in reducing the impact. And this impact has primarily to do with the positive educational effect, it has on children. Where does a child who lives in Hyderabad or Chennai or Delhi, lets say... where will this child see a tiger. I would say not in Nagarhole National Park but in the nearest zoo. This is his way to move away from the National Geographic syndrome and actually see an animal. Only when he sees an animal, will he gather empathy.

My love for wildlife started late and it was around when I used to regularly visit Van Vihar in Bhopal. Seeing, the crocodiles, tigers, turtles and other beings did I gather the strength to do something about them.

There are purists who maintain that zoos are an inhuman form of keeping animals. They have their views and I have mine. I agree with most of their views but the fact is, if not a zoo, then what.

I was witness to one of the best zoo programs under Vijay Ranjan Singh at Mysore where he took cleanliness to a high level. The animals surely thank him and his predecessors but the purists may not. And all, he was keen to do was to make sure that the animals lived healthily and the kids learnt.

I vote for GOOD ZOOS, not for badly maintained ones.

Anu, the tigress is there to tell the tale.