GUWAHATI, June 23: All is not well in the Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden, one of the tourist hotspots in the city, as the mortal rate of various exotic and native wild animals is quite alarming for years and on. Despite the pumping of more funds to the Zoo than before for the supplementation of food and treatment to species, there seems no decline in the mortal rate.
According to a government source, the total number of animals of different species died on various reasons during the period from 2011 to early March, 2018 was 306. The year-wise death tolls of species recorded during this period were – 35 in 2018, including 18 mammals, 15 birds and two reptiles; 31 in 2012 including 22 mammals, eight birds and one reptile; 35 in 2013 including 33 mammals and two birds; 69 in 2014 including 30 mammals, 36 birds and three reptiles; 44 in 2015 including 32 mammals, 11 birds and one reptile; 20 in 2016 including 13 mammals, six birds and one reptile; 38 in 2017 including 26 mammals, 11 birds and one reptile, and 34 in 2018 including 17 mammals, 15 birds and two reptiles.
Notably, during the period 259 wild species died of various diseases, 42 with old-age ailments and five species died of some unknown diseases. Moreover, as many as 69 species died on various reasons in 2014 alone.
According to the government source, the fund allocated to the Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden, Guwahati for food and treatment to the wild animals were Rs 305.55 lakh in fiscal 2011- 2012, Rs 310.55 lakh in fiscal 2012-13, Rs 462.65 lakh in 2013-14, Rs 343.19 lakh in 2014-15, Rs 495.54 lakh in 2015-16, Rs 500 lakh in 2016-17 and Rs 530 lakh in 2017-18. The situation has made it crystal clear that the zoo administration or the department as a whole is still to get the proper remedy to arrest the rising mortality rate of animals. It is high time the department went for introspection so as to arrest the trend.