Follow rules, update records: Central Zoo Authority to Amar Circus

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“Naresh Kaydan has made several reports about the blind hippo, but even after inspection, they are not willing to re-locate the hippo to a sanctuary or shelter. That hippo can’t be doing well whilst still at the circus!”

NAGPUR: A high-level committee of Central Zoo Authority (CZA) on Monday directed the Amar Circus owner to maintain records and follow prescribed rules while running the circus.

The eight-member committee was in the city following a complaint by PFA leader from Haryana Naresh Kadyan that blind hippopotamus was being used in shows.

The panel comprised Dr BK Gupta, evaluation and monitoring officer of CZA, Kartick Sathyanarayan of Wildlife SOS, Suparna Baksi-Ganguly of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC), subdivisional officer (SDO) Prakash Patil, deputy conservator of forests PK Mahajan, Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) member SN Kapoor, wildlife vet Dr AB Shrivastav, Jabalpur, and PFA’s Wardha in-charge Ashish Goswami.

The committee arrived at the Kasturchand Park, the circus venue, around 10am and was there till 12.30pm. The members expressed displeasure over absence of records and ownership certificates of some performing animals. They found mismatch in animal records.

Gupta said that there were three elephants with the circus but only one female Padma is alive. “We were never informed what happened to the other two elephants,” he said.

Owner of the circus, Chandrakant Gadge, said that when he bought the circus in 2008, there were only two elephants – Mohan and Padma. Mohan died in Chhindwara and Padma is still doing well.

“I don’t know about the third elephant,” Gadge said.

The committee also objected to a large number of dogs. There were at least a dozen dogs. One of the females Sonia bred 3 days ago and her 7 puppies lay scattered in the cage. The members asked the manager to stop breeding of dogs and sterilize them. It also wanted DNA test of the birds be done and chips fixed to them for recognition.

As one of the panel members, Dr Shrivastav, could not make it in the morning, hippo Amar could not be examined for cataract. The biggest controversy over the circus was that blind hippo was being displayed, which according to Gupta is not allowed under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. The hippo is completely blind with left eye and partially blind with right eye.

Gupta said that the hippo will have to be removed from display. However, the CZA had no plans to rehabilitate the hippo nor any medication to regain vision of the animal.

Speaking to TOI, Gupta said, “On October 10, 2011 CZA had issued a letter asking the circus to comply with 16 conditions.” However, Gadge says he did not receive the letter as it was posted on a wrong address.

The 16 conditions included arrangement for a regular vet, tranquillizing equipment, health check-up of staff every six months, maintaining inventory of animals, proper cages for birds etc. The members wanted the managers to follow these conditions if the recognition to elephant is renewed. The recognition to Padma will expire on October 2012.

This is the second committee to inspect the circus. Earlier, a committee appointed by the AWBI visited the circus on June 9. It had advised the owner to provide ration, vaccination, proper caging, create hygienic conditions and regular deworming of animals.

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Poacher admits to killing tiger 45 days ago

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BHOPAL: A tiger was killed in Shivpuri district some 45 days ago by one of the eight poachers, who were arrested in Chhindwara district on the charge of planning to lay trap for electrocuting a big cat in Pench Tiger Reserve.

The eight accused were detained on Friday and produced in a court on Sunday after forest department officials registered cases against them at ChhindwaraExcept Sanjesh who admitted to killing the striped animal in Shivpuri, all others Zilendar Giri of Sarguja in Chhattisgarh and Rai Singh, Dharma, Dhara, Ishwar, Jorawar and Kismat hailing from Chhitorgarh in Rajasthan have been sent to jail. The court sent Sanjesh in forest department remand for five days, Chhindwara divisional forest officer Ashok Kumar told TOI.

“We are going to grill Sanjesh, who hails from Shivpuri, and that is why we sought his remand. He might spill some more vital beans regarding poaching given he had been in Hoshangabad housing Satpura tiger reserve some days ago, ” Kumar said.

After Sanjesh confessed of having killed a tiger in Shivpuri, the officials are now planning to carry out searches at some places to recover the body parts of big cat. 

Two days back, the accused were detained with a metal trap, a knife and others implements used to electrocute big cat, at Linga village of Chhindwara district, close to MP’s Pench tiger reserve, which spreads over to Maharashtra.

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