A trail of death and mismanagement
Despite the woodland department lacking the skilled manpower had to run two existing safari parks, plans are underway for yet every other safari park project in Letitia forest in Moulvibazar’s Jury upazila, on the price of destroying natural forests.
The prospect is particularly troubling given the current coronary heart-wrenching demise spree of animals at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park in Gazipur. Between January 2 and February three, at the side of a tiger and a lioness, eleven zebras died in the safari park. Two pinnacle officers of the park were removed over negligence of duty involving the incident.
The government first of all attempted to hide the loss of life of a tiger inside the park however a local lawmaker disclosed the facts in a briefing. Later, the safari park authorities said that the tiger died because of anthrax contamination and the lioness died because of antique age complications.
Prof Dr Med Abu Hadid Noor Ali Khan of the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Bangladesh Agricultural University BAU, and a member of the scientific board shaped to locate the cause of the deaths, stated 3 zebras died of accidents to their bellies even as the others had been affected by pneumonia.
However, the actual reason of accidents could not be distinct yet.
Due to the cold weather, 8 other zebras might have been inflamed with pneumonia, increasing their breathing issues and reducing their immunity, said Dr Khan. The zebras had a threat to inbreed at the park, which made the animals genetically vulnerable.
Traces of lead and nitrate had been located within the grass fed to the animals. According to Dr Khan, immoderate amounts of urea, used for rapid increase of grass, and insecticides to kill bugs within the grass can also be dangerous for animals, especially foreign breeds who do now not have immunity towards such fertilizers.
Besides, the encircling place across the park is closely industrialized. The fumes from battery-run automobile rickshaws and fuels similarly to the presence of lead triggered a chemical response, he said.
There are around 1,500 animals of 70 one of a kind species in the safari park. In the start, a total of 25 zebras have been delivered to the park. Their range increased to 50 through the years. However, on account that 2017, 32 zebras have died, woodland branch assets said.
Currently, there are 70 animals of 7 one-of-a-kind species in the African safari inside the safari park.
The African safari has handiest 60 acres of area but it desires at the least one hundred eighty acres now, as the quantity of animals has extended manifold, said an respectable of the Gazipur safari park.
Wildlife professionals said the safari parks inside the us of a do no longer abide by way of global requirements, in keeping with which, in case you import an exceptional animal, you should create an ecosystem just like its united states of beginning.
Prof Dr Anwar Hossain, former chairman, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka and CEO of WildTeam, said, When they import African animals, they can’t additionally import the African environment. It is easy to create an synthetic atmosphere for exotic animals in a zoo, but it’s miles difficult to create such an environment in a larger space like a safari park. If we import animals from Africa and and maintain them right here with out recreating their habitat, we lead them to prone, he stated.
Besides, veterinarians from Bangladesh do no longer learn how to treat zebras. They find out about the remedy of farm animals, so it’s far tough for them to treat zebras when they’re ill, he introduced.
Following the death spree, the government shaped a four-member clinical board, which supplied a fixed of tips to resolve the troubles, along with increasing the manpower to offer round-the-clock provider to the wildlife. At least 3 veterinary surgeons are in need of urgent appointment for the park right now, they cautioned.
But in fact, the safari park has been laid low with a lack of professional manpower when you consider that the beginning.
According to Amir Hossain Chowdhury, leader conservator of forests CCF, the complete woodland branch has handiest three veterinarians.
We have deployed a veterinarian for Gazipur Safari Park, one for Dulahazara Safari Park and every other for Sheikh Kamal Wildlife Centre. We might now not be able to deploy extra vetss for the Gazipur park although we desired to, he stated.
Regarding skilled manpower, Chowdhury said, When the challenge was first undertaken, a few education was arranged for the body of workers. But other than that, the forest branch does now not have human beings with talents to oversee and provide vital services to the natural world.
Currently 58 employees are deployed for the entire Gazipur safari park, that is unfold over 3,810 acres of sal forest. A total of 32 personnel are full time team of workers even as 26 are operating on hire outsourcing under the Gazipur Safari Park task.
Since the start, the safari park has been strolling on an ordeal and error foundation, he admitted.
Experts also recommended analyzing the feed and fodder for the animals. However, when requested approximately the fine of meals on the safari park, Amir Hossain stated, As the park does no longer have a lab, it turned into no longer possible to test the animal feed and determine its nice.
According to thenewly appointed project director Molla Rezaul Karim, all of the hints of the professional committee might be carried out soon.
We will discuss with neighborhood and global professionals regarding control of these animals, he said.
Yet some other safari park
Masterplan for a 3rd Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park to be installation in Lathitila forest in Moulvibazar’s Juri upazila, with a price range of BDT 846.25 crore, awaits government approval.
Out of the BDT 846.25 center, BDT 203 crore become kept for animal management and BDT 182 crore for buying animals for the safari park.
Despite protests from environmentalists, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change finalised the safari park mission.
Asked approximately how they’re going to manage the manpower for the third safari park as they do not have professional manpower for existing two, Amir Hossain Chowdhury said, Once the challenge is okayed by using the authorities, we are able to recruit people.
Why do want handiest three safari parks? Requested Prof Anwar Hossain. The authorities should have run most effective one safari park with Bangladeshi animals first, making sure worldwide standards, rather than importing those foreign animals and putting their lives at hazard.
Speaking approximately the government selection, Sharif Jamil, General Secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon BAPA), stated, Establishing a safari park in a reserve forest will subsequently lead to the destruction of the woodland and its herbal habitats.
Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed a, former leader conservator of forests who additionally served as usa consultant of IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature said, As the masterplan is prepared, which means they may establish the park besides.
We are witnessing a catastrophe at Gazipur safari park as we failed to ensure proper control and habitat for alien species delivered into our safari park. I fear this will repeat inside the new park too. Without focussing on more safari parks, the authorities should recognition on conservation of neighborhood species that are already endangered and at the verge of extinction, he said.
Our Gazipur correspondent Abu Bakar Siddique, Mymensingh correspondent Aminul Islma and Sylhet correspondent Dwoha Chowdhury contributed to the tale.