Ban cellphones, cameras in zoos, says wildlife expert

DC | VIDYASHREE DHARMARAJ
Published Oct 1, 2014, 10:00 am IST
Updated Jan 10, 2016, 8:38 am IST
Light and frequencies are major sources of irritants to animals
Dhanasekaran Vandayar, former zameen of Poondi speaks on understanding animals. (Photo: DC/File)
 Dhanasekaran Vandayar, former zameen of Poondi speaks on understanding animals. (Photo: DC/File)
CoimbatoreZoos in the country should immediately ban the use of cameras and cellphones by visitors as light and frequencies are major sources of irritants to animals which prowl in the open enclosures, says Dhanasekaran Vandayar, a wildlife expert.
 
Vandayar, who is the former zameen of Poondi in Thanjavur district, grew up with a panther, 14 types of deer and an elephant calf at his house during the 1970s and spent most of his time studying the behaviour of wild animals in the jungles.
 
The recent spine chilling incident of a white tiger mauling a mentally unstable man who fell into the zoo enclosure in Delhi, prompted the animal expert to come out with a list of do’s and don’t’s for zoo authorities in the country.
 
Every animal in the zoo needs to be collared and their profile, including behavioural patterns, likes and dislikes, stored in a computer so that even a new official or zoo keeper or doctors will be in a position to understand the animals and handle them accordingly.
 
Every zoo campus should have tranquilisers ready and ensure that the animals get the correct dose; the animal should be weighed every 15 days, as the dosage is linked to the weight of the animal and excess dosage could prove fatal for the animals, he pointed out.
 
“There is an incomplete understanding in terms of handling carnivores. They have to be handled by a single master, and the master should condition the animal from its days as a cub in a way that it fears some specific tool. That specific tool used to instil fear in the animal should not be as common as a stick or a stone.
 
The animal can be trained to obey its master using a rubber slipper or a rolled up paper. But this obedience training needs to be done only by a single master for better control of the big cat,” said the expert on handling carnivores.
 
Corporates should come forward to sponsor feeding expenses of animals as most animals are underfed because of lack of funds. An elephant needs 250 kg of food a day and they are most often underfed. “The government can consider a tax rebate for those willing to sponsor food for animals,” Vandayar suggested.
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Location: Tamil Nadu




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