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Celebrating Wildlife Week

We are celebrating Wild life week but as we read this hundreds of animals are falling prey to the poacher’s gun, succumbing to the onslaught of floods or becoming senseless victims of man’s cruelty. Destruction of natural habitat is a serious threat to wild life which deprives these wild animals of food shelter and water. Their quest for survival brings them in the proximity of human dwellings which in turn puts them in danger of being pelted with stones, bludgeoned by machetes or simply shot at point blank range. Indians are not abreast with the techniques of handling wild animals which stray into human habitation. Rough handling and terror of being attacked leads people to mortally wound the innocent animals.

The Zoo culture is another inhuman practice that needs to be abolished. Innocent animals caged in tiny cells for public viewing is the cruelest form of cruelty towards animals. These birds and animals do time in these prison like cells when they could race or fly around in the jungles with total freedom. Its time we converted our zoos to national parks and stop the exploitation of innocent animals.

Animal policing is an unheard of activity in our country. But as we share our world with theses creatures they should have equal rights of a better life free of fear and any kind of exploitation. Animal labor in all forms should be abolished or controlled with laws. The sight of old horses pulling heavily loaded carts are a common scene, where the owner hits the beast repeatedly till the horse stumbles and in some cases falls never to get up again. Elephants young and old are seen pulling or carrying logs in our very own city roads. These animals have a right to a free life of its own. Another heart rending scene is the sight of poultry chickens crammed in a small caged on top of one another waiting to be butchered in a butcher’s shop and goats loaded in a small vehicle and transported in a similar fashion. Many of theses animals die due to lack of proper breathing space or due to asphyxia. They are living breathing creatures like us why not spare a thought for them like us they too need a better living condition. Many countries have adopted better arrangements of such farm animals and they are kept in a better place in humane and unhygienic conditions. Let me not go into the animal sacrifice rituals as enough has been said in this regard without any success. At least let’s put a stop to animals being used for inhuman races for mere amusement of humans where the animals are repeatedly whipped till their skin give way to gaping wounds. Amusement at such heinous cost of hapless animals who give you only love and true love is dastardly.

In developed countries like Australia and US there are the animal police at their disposal who keep a constant vigil for their safety. Near forest areas or highways with animal corridors where there are chances of accidents. Moreover there are animal help lines for the public to inform about any stray animals injured in any kind of accidents. Neighbors too can avail of these help lines to bring to boot careless owners of domestic pets. Registered collars are provided to pets for their identification if lost and found and to check for vaccinations etc. All is not dark in the future of pets or animals as steps are slowly been taken by organizations such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) or the People for Animals (PFA).

People’s participation holds the key to wildlife conservation. Compassion towards animals should be inculcated in children from a very early age that will be true wildlife conservation for the future generations need to be enlightened in order to provide safety and protection to our counterparts in the wild.
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Rituparna Goswami Pande's picture

Journalist, writer

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jaay's picture

Very sensitive article, but then question still remains: Do we think animals have the right to be what they are? Are we ready to give them space of their own? In the country where people are fighting to build houses and concrete structures, can we come to terms that certain area be regulated for animals? The answer does not lie with us but with the administrators, who, even after 5 decades of self rule, are unable to provide their own people the basic needs. You talk about converting zoos into national park, but I am sure you are aware if the state in which the national parks are. The poaching takes place right under their nose and not only that it is not uncommon that those who are responsible to protect them, are hands-in-glove with the poachers.

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