• Last Update 2024-06-13 18:08:00

Wildlife Minister calls for an inquiry into death of a Zebra



The Minister of Wildlife and Forest Conservation Pavithara Wanniarchchi had called on an inquiry into the sudden death of the only zebra which had perished at the National Zoological garden at Dehiwala today.

According to the Minister's Request the Director General of the National zoological gardens, Ranjan Marasinghe is to officially request the Ministry’s secretary to appoint an independent committee to look into the incident.

Mr Marasinghe elaborated that he would be making a request in writing calling the ministry secretary to appoint a committee, and would personally hand it over to the Ministry.

Following the death of the zebra the Zoo have called in the Director In charge of Wildlife Health of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) Dr Tharaka Prasad to carry out the post mortem inquiry today.

Subsequently, samples of the animal obtained while the postmortem performed today were sent to both Veterinary Retrench Institute at Peradeniya and faculty of veterinary science at Peradeniya University for analysis.

The DG told the Sunday Times that they are awaiting the reports sent to determine the cause of death of the animals.

Mr Marasinghe confirmed that only male zebras in Sri Lanka which were held at Ridiyagama safari park were transported to Dehiwala zoo to be kept together with the two other female zebras.

He added that they also expected to keep the animals together to breed more zebras. The zebra which was perished was a zebra which was obtained from China via animal exchange progremes.

According to the Zoo's Director General the zebras are not rare in foreign zoos therefore are planning to obtain more male zebras via animal exchange programs.

He added that they were earlier planning to obtain more zebras therefore with incident are planning to expedite the process.  

 Meanwhile the Environmental organizations too called for independent investigation into the incident and find the reason for the death of the animal.

The Environmentalist alleged that the death of the zebra was due to administering high dosage of tranquilizer or giving wrong medication.

However the officials at the Zoo pointed out that they cannot speculate the reason for death while investigations are underway.

A senior official claimed anonymity said that the Zoo’s veterinary surgeons are qualified, fulfilled educational requirements and are government registered, apart from that the Zoo’s practices on treating animals, therefore deemed capable.

Therefore the official explained that they would await as well as rely on the report of the post mortem and committee report to find the reason for the animal’s death.

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