Lecture – 31
Zoos and their Management
[FL] You may have visited some zoos in some part of your life.
(Refer Slide Time: 00:19)
Now, zoos are places where we normally go to experience the citing of animals. But then, zoos are also extremely important for us to as ex-situ conservation facilities. So, they are not just a place where animals are displayed, but they are also places where any rescued animal is kept or places where we do some amount of research on these animals or also places where we perform some amount of captive breeding in these animals.
So, a number of endangered species are kept in our zoos for two reasons. One is that as a backup, so that if the national population dwindles, we still have some animals out there in the captivity. So, you would remember that when we were discussing about the IUCN redness categories, we had 2 categories; extinct and extinct in the wild.
So, when we consider this category of extinct in the wild, we mean that this species or this taxon has become completely extinct in the wild situations, but we still have those in captivity. So, these could then be used to restock our population, to reintroduce these animals into their natural habitat, once their conditions have improved. So, that is one reason; as a backup and second is, as a captive rearing facility, if you want to increase their numbers.
(Refer Slide Time: 01:37)
So, let us begin with the definition of a zoo, as per our wildlife protection act 1972. Zoo means an establishment where, whether stationary or mobile, where captive animals are kept for exhibition to the public. So, we could have stationary zoos and we can also have mobile zoos which were more prevalent in antiquity, but are now less prevalent, but captive animals are kept for exhibition to the public. But then it also expands this definition by saying that and includes a circus.
So, a circus is the zoo, as per the definition under a wildlife protection act. And rescue centers, so rescue centers are also zoos. Now, why is this demarcation is important? Because, when we say that we would have certain laws or certain regulations that are related to a zoo then those laws and regulations will also apply to circuses and also to the rescue centers.
So, for instance, if we say that we should have a minimum size of the enclosure for keeping any animal or we should have ‘n’ number of veterinarians when we are keeping so many animals, or when we say that whenever an animal needs to be moved from place A to place B then such and such regulations would apply for in the case of zoos. So, the same regulation would also apply to a circus and the same would also apply to rescue center that does not include an establishment of a licensed dealer in captive animals. So, these kinds of facilities are not included in the definition of zoos. So, if there is a licensed dealer in captive animals then we will not call it a zoo.
(Refer Slide Time: 03:07)
In our country, we have zoos under the ownership of different authorities. So, we have municipal zoos these are 17 in numbers. So, these are the figures as on March 2018. So, we have municipal zoos, we have state government zoos that belong to some institutions, we have state government zoos that belongs to the forest department, these are the largest categories of the zoos, then we have some zoos in the public sector, we have some zoos in the private sector.
Then we have some zoos that belong to some NGO’s or society or trust, then there is only one central government zoo in Delhi. And so, the sum total of this comes to 161 zoos in the country and all of these zoos come under the authority of the CZA or the central zoo authority
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Now, this authority performs a number of functions. One, it recognizes the zoos. So, when we say that a zoo is recognized. So, it is granted certain privileges, it is granted a permission to remain open. So, it grants these privileges. So, first is recognition of zoos. Second is classification of zoos. So, zoos are classified as large zoos, medium sized zoos and smaller zoos. Now, for all of these different categories of zoos we will have certain requirements. So, in the case of a large size zoo, you should have this much amount of area these many number of animals and so, on. So, CZA also categorizes these zoos.
Then it also performs a regulatory role on the zoos. So, time and again officials from central zoo authority would visit these zoos and then inspect these zoos, whether they are performing well or not. If there are any problems, they would point them out to be corrected and so on, if not then their zoo may lose it is recognition. Then it also performs a role of a facilitator.
So, facilitator in terms of getting more funds for these zoos, facilitation in terms of getting more scientific innovations or more technological interventions into these zoos. Then if there is a captive breeding facility then CZA would come up with a guidelines inspects those as well. If there is any movement of animals from one zoo to another zoo, if there is any import of animals that needs to be done, if there is any export of animals to another country, then all of those are also facilitated by the central zoo authority. (Refer Slide Time: 05:25)
And its role; it also vets the master plans for the zoos, it has come up with a number of master plan in guidelines. Now, master plans are those documents in which we do all the planning of a zoo. So, essentially, what sort of facilities need to be developed, what are our current facilities, what all facilities need to be upgraded, what do we want to do say, in the next 5 years.
So, all those things would come up in the master plan. Even things like, if there is any emergency, how are we going to evacuate people, how are we going to evacuate the animals. If there is any disease outbreak, what is going to be our stands, what are the facilities that are available for us to deal with any disaster. And so, all these planning aspects come up in the master plan and then this is also vetted by the CZA. (Refer Slide Time: 06:15)
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Then the CZA also helps in the creation and running of the captive breeding facilities for a number of animals. It also helps in the maintenance of the studbooks. Now this is an example of the tiger studbook. So, essentially what a studbook contains, is that it would have a stud number, the sex of the animal, when it was born, then how was it sired.
So, sired means whether it was born out of a wild tiger or whether it was a part of the captive breeding. Then you have that damp. So, sire refers to the father, damp refers to the mother; who was the mother, was it one of the wild animal or was it one of the earlier animal that has been referred to here, in the case of the captive breeding. Then what was the location in which it first born or where it was captured. Then at different dates, so, here we have different dates and then what was the event that happened with this animal? So, for instance, the first animal that is referred to here is a famous tiger Mohan. So, Mohan was the first white tiger that was captured in the in the place called Rewa. Now, this animal was captured in 1951 and then it was transferred on 27th of May 1951 and then it died on 19th of December 1969.
So, essentially, we have a record of this animal. Next, we have the name of this animal, then who did the breeding and then some other tags that are used to tell us the old registration numbers, new registration numbers and so on. Now, why is the maintenance of the studbook important? Now, this is important because in any of our captive breeding facilities we want to minimize inbreeding as far as possible.
Now, here we have the first tiger which was Mohan, that was captured in the wild and then we have the second tiger called Begum, it was a tigress it was a female, that was also captured in wild. Now, for instance, if you look at this tiger number 6, the tiger number 6 is a male, it was born in the year 1955. And then here we see that its father was number 1, number 1 is Mohan, the mother was number 2, number 2 is Begum. Now, for some other animal, say, animal number 10, this was a female and this also at the same parents. Now, this animal was then transferred to some other zoo.
So, this animal was there in the Delhi zoo and this animal number 6 was there in the Ahmadabad zoo. Now, if we are doing any captive breeding operation and we would want to bring animals from as far as possible. But then even these animals where there in Ahmadabad one was there in Delhi, both of these animals are related. So, how do we get to know about this relationship? This only possible when we maintain these documents in the name of studbooks, and these studbooks are also maintained by the CZA. So, that is about the administrative part, but then what actually happens in the zoos?
Refer Slide Time: 09:21)
So, we go there we see the animals, but that is then what is going on in the background? So, we will take the case study of the Mysore zoo as an example of what actually happens in a zoo. So, one primary concern in a zoo is to create a cozy environment for the residents. So, if we observe these tigers, so these tigers have given ample amount of space, there is a small water fall here so that this area is kept cool, we have quite a number of tress are here so that this angle gets a shade. We also try to ensure that these animals are kept at an elevated position as compared to human beings. So, what we mean by that is that, if we have this is a pathway, so we would have an elevated ground on which the animal is kept.
So, people when they are observing the animal they are looking up to the animal.
Refer Slide Time: 00:00)
Now, why is this important? Because, psychologically if an animal is looked down upon. So, if you are always looking down at the animal, the animal gets a feeling of threat.
So, this is one way in which we try to ensure that even psychologically the animal is in a cozy environment. Now, similarly we would have places for the animal to sit and bask in the sun, if required. We would also have some shades, we would also have some other chambers in which this animal may go inside and hide in privacy, if it does not want to come out, if it does not want to display itself. Inside these chambers we would always have things such as these logs. Now, these logs are important, because in the case of tigers, they have a habit of scratching with their nails.
So, they should have some surface on which to scratch, if they are only kept on a concrete surface and if they are trying to scratch something, they will break their nails, but if you have a soft items such as log of wood then that helps. So, these are some primary consideration that we need to take care in the case of the zoo.
Refer Slide Time: 10:59)
The second important thing is quality feeding. So, for instance, if your zoo is having snakes, you would be feeding them with mice, so these mice are then reared in the facility and there is a veterinarian to check that these mice are healthy and fit enough to be eaten by these snakes.
And in the case of other animals, you would have a number of raw materials that are brought in, number of fruits and vegetables that are brought in. There are quite some grains that are kept stored in this facility. So, the quality of all of these, whether there is any fungal attack on any of these food grains, all of these need to be checked at regular intervals.
Refer Slide Time: 11:41)
Now, once you have ensured that your feed is a quality feed, next you need to ensure that your feed is given to the animals in time. So, your animals must not be over fed or underfed. If your animals is overfed, it would become obese, that it will also lead to other diseases such as diseases of the joints. If the animal is underfed it might starve, when it is starving then it might not be showing its natural behavior, it might also not breed.
So, the feeding has to be done in time bound manner and it has to be done with a lot of precaution because you are dealing with animals such as tigers, which are ferocious animals. So, here we observe that this person is manning the gate that has this enclosure on one side and the feeding chamber on the other side. So, when this gate is open the tiger would come from the enclosure into the feeding chamber. But then there is also quite a lot of protection so that the tiger is not able to mall the zoo keeper.
Refer Slide Time: 12:31)
Now, for our indigenous species it is easier, but when we are keeping any exotic species such as giraffes, zebra or cheetah. Now, these are exotic animals, these are animals of African origin and this animals are found in Africa. Now, the situations in Africa are quite different from the situations in India. So, for instance, a giraffe might be a particular feed which is feed which is not available in India.
So, when you are keeping such an animals, you also need to keep in mind that you need to provide habitats that are suitable for these species. So, for instance, the grass that is used here might be different from the grass that you use for our Indian animals. And similarly, the feed that is provided to these animals is very carefully regulated.
Refer Slide Time: 13:11)
Now, these days zoos also need to take care of the landscaping, because what happens is that, if you have an aviary. So, an aviary is a place where birds were kept and you are having these wire meshes so that the birds are not able to fly out. But then, there could be a number of insects that can get inside. Now a number of birds are insectivorous birds.
So, if an insect gets inside a cage, the bird is going to feed on it. Now, because you have these wire meshes, insects are inevitably going to get inside the facility. So, in that case, we need to ensure that these insects are healthy and these insects are not bringing in a any diseases. So, for that purpose landscaping is important so that we consider the direction of winds that is coming to this area and in that direction we grow a number of plants to a very long distance so that we ensure that there is no garbage dump on which these insects would have sat on and brought the diseases.
So, we would have a number of flowering trees, a number of plants with flowers so that you have a good amount of a insects and a good amount of healthy insects so, landscaping also becomes important.
Refer Slide Time: 14:17)
Next is documentation. So any of these ex-situ facilities have to rely a lot on documentation and this documentation is not just things like the feeding and treatment charts of animals, but also quite a number of information has these days to be converted into visual information to be given to other people.
(Refer Slide Time: 14:27)
Next, we need to have proper veterinary care facilities for the animals. So, we looked at this picture of the royal heritage squeeze cage and immobilization module. But then, you need to have facilities where you can handle your animal. So, for instance, if you have a
tiger or a lion you need to handle that animal, you need to provide it with certain medicines, so you require a squeeze cage.
You also require an operating theatre, if there is any injury to the animal which needs to be operated upon. You also need to have any x-ray facility. So, you can observe that all of these animals are also given the state of the art facilities. So, this is another reason why whenever we are thinking about an ex-situ conservation facility, the cost typically escalate. (Refer Slide Time: 15:19)
Next, we would require facilities for research and in reach. Now, in reach means that you would have quite a number of peoples say, you would have politicians that are visiting this zoo. And you need to facilitate their visit, because ultimately those are the people who are going to create laws for the country and also laws for the zoos.
So, if those people, who are in a decision making role if they do not understand what actually is required in a zoo they might not be able to form those laws properly. So, similarly people such as judiciary, so judiciary needs to come into zoos to understand how a zoo is being run and what are the pros and cons of different strategies.
So, for instance, if there is consignment of turtles, live turtles that is captured somewhere by people in the customs and those turtles need to be rescued. A judge cannot simply say that all these turtles need to be kept in so and so zoo because that zoo might not have the facility of keeping those turtles.
So, if you require these facilities time and again, then it is necessary to create these facilities in the zoo. So, which is why, people in these decision making roles need to be call to these zoos and need to visit these facilities, to understand things properly.
Similarly, when we talk about people such as veterinarians or the officers of the Indian forest service. So, when they are going to manage all these facilities, they need to have an introduction to these facility, how these facilities are being run today. So, these are the sorts of in reach programs that are regularly conducted in most of the zoos. Then quite a lot of research also goes on because in the case of these ex-situ facilities, you are having a chance of very close encounters with the animal.
So, you can observe these animals at a very great detail; what are their natural behaviors; if you are giving them some feed, what sorts of feed do they eat; if there is any change in their feeding habits; is that indicative of any disease. Now, all these things can be looked at very intricately and so this is also facilitated in a number of zoos. (Refer Slide Time: 17:19)
Then, the next thing is that because these are facilities that have quite a good amount of finding and also because they are primarily for the cause of conservation. So, we can also develop some more ecofriendly activities. So, for instance, in case your zoo has a very large area and people have been using say, buses to move inside the zoos. So, can we have some more ecofriendly alternatives, such as this bicycle that runs on a battery so, in which case you will have less amount of emissions that are coming out. And remember that zoos are primarily a place at which you are displaying the animals.
Now, when people want to go and visit these animals, they will move on some vehicles so, can we go for some more eco-friendly alternatives? Similarly, when we talk about drainage of these areas, can we have those drains that do not pollute the ground water? Because, most of these animals might also be using some germs that may result in zoo in zoonosis.
(Refer Slide Time: 18:21)
So, things like these also need to be taken care off. Then when we consider a zoo, there would be quite a large number of animals these animals would be giving out quite a large amount of dung. Now, what do we do with all this wastes? Can we convert it in to bio gas? Can we convert in to some manures?
So, that is also something that needs to be done in a zoo at all times. Because, these are not activities that are incidental to the functioning of zoo, but these are activities that are core when we are considering or when we are wanting to keep any animal in the facility. (Refer Slide Time: 18:49)
Then when people are coming in to the zoo, you will also need to do a lot of tourism management, a lot of people management. So, there needs to be amenities for people. So, for people with special requirements you might require wheel case for instance, for old people you might require some vehicles, then you need to have facilities water, you need to have public conveniences, you need to have first aid facilities and so on. When people are moving inside the zoos, you need to have places for them to sit, you need to have drinking water facilities, you need to have eateries and other stuffs. (Refer Slide Time: 19:23)
Next, you need to have an image for the zoo. So, for instance, when people are getting into this area and if this area looks a very ramp shack area, people might not come into the zoo. Now, people coming to our zoos is important not just for the purpose of revenue, but also because this is one prime area in which we can bring people into the fold of conservation. So, for instance, later on if there is a debate, whether we should have more amount of development or more amount of conservation.
And if people just do not know what sorts of animals live in our jungles, if people just do not know what conservation mean, and if people just do not know that that this amount of development is going to lead to the extinction of these species. If they are not emotionally attached to these species then it will become very difficult for the conservationist to conserve these animals because after all in a democracy we require public support. Now, if we want more and more people especially, school kids for instance, to come into our facilities, we need to ensure that the facilities are also top class.
(Refer Slide Time: 20:27)
Now, in that case, we also need to have a lot of movement management. So, when school kids are getting into these areas, you need to ensure that they are not exposed to a lot of heat, they are not exposed to a lot of sun, the ticketing facilities take the minimum amount of time and at the same time people are also given an exposure of the do’s and do not’s in a very intuitive way. So, for instance, this is a board that is kept there in the zoo and there is a person who sits here.
Now, what this board says is that, if you are coming in to this zoo and you if you have a plastic bottle. Now, people would normally come with plastic bottles because zoos was a large area and when by walking people will might get thirsty even though we have drinking water facility. But, then if there is a person who has come inside with a bottle, what should he or she do with the bottle? Should he or she throw it out?
If they are throwing it out where should they throw it? Because remember, we are talking about an ex-situ conservation facility. If people just throw things here and there then there might be say, monkeys around who take it and then put it in to an enclosure so that may also result in an emergency situation.
So, what this person is doing here is that, if you come inside with a plastic bottle, he would just put in a sticker on this bottle and he would charge you 10 rupees for that and then when you are going out of the zoo, you need to come to this area again. If you show him this bottle with the sticker, he will get your 10 rupees back. Now, this is a very intuitive way to ensure that people do not leave their plastic bottles inside the zoo because there is a financial involvement here.
(Refer Slide Time: 22:09)
Now, not only are animals displayed, but zoos also have areas where they have these morning walk and evening walk facilities in which they are showing all these palm trees. Then at the same time, they have areas in which you can observe the butterflies in which you can observe these plants such as the bryophytes or the hydrophytes. So, such kinds of plants are also displayed not just the animals.
(Refer Slide Time: 22:31)
We also have facilities in which you can observe different kinds of orchids that grow in your country. Or you can have this open aviary in which you can get inside so which are covered with a net, but when you go inside you can directly have a look at these birds, or you can have a look at different kinds of cacti. Now, why is this important? Because, we just do not want to display our animals, but we want people to appreciate the various kinds of biodiversity that exists in our country and why all these need to be conserved?
(Refer Slide Time: 23:07)
Then, even things such as eateries, need to be planned in a very proper manner, because in the case of restaurants, if for instance, if people are allowed to bring in their own food and if they drop this food somewhere walking on the pathways. So, there could be some animals that could pick this up and may be bring it out there to the enclosures. So, restaurants also become an integral part of the zoos.
Similarly, you need to keep service lanes separate so that while the animals are being provided with their rations or while animals are being transported, the movement of people does not get hindered. Then, at all times, our aim is to put people into the conservation fold. So, immersive display boards are important.
So, for instance, if you have a look at the giraffe, then the question would be, how high is this giraffe? What is the size of it is heart? Or for instance, when you look at its scientific name it is called a Giraffe camelopards. Now, why is it called camelopards? So, if you give information such that, this giraffe looks like a camel and its skin looks like a leopard so, it is camel plus leopard; so it is camelopards. So, things like that engage people and especially the school kids so that they are more attuned to the cause of conservation. (Refer Slide Time: 24:21)
Now, rescue facilities, they also come under the definition of zoos. So, we have rescue facilities for the rescue of sloth bears.
(Refer Slide Time: 24:29)
Now, these bears where earlier used by bear dancers that go by the name of kalandars. Now, when this profession was out lawed and all these bears had to be rescued. So, most of these birds cannot just be released into the wild; why? Because, when these bears were put into this trade of bear dancing so their claws were removed, their teeth’s were removed, their noses were pierced and there was rope that went inside, a number of these bears have had large amount or large number of diseases such as tuberculosis, quite a number of these bears are blind; what do we do with this these bears? We cannot the just leave them out in the forest because they cannot survive there. So, we need to create another facility for them.
(Refer Slide Time: 25:15)
Similarly, the facility for lions. Now, these were the lions that were rescued from different circuses. Again, these lions have had quite a number of diseases including tuberculosis and you cannot release them out in the wild.
(Refer Slide Time: 25:27)
Now, the things such as turtle rescue facility. So, this is one facility that is close to Dwaraka and what the department is doing here is that, in the case of beaches, where turtles lay their eggs.
(Refer Slide Time: 25:35)
So, there could be dogs that come there and eat up all the eggs and these days the population of the Peria dogs is increasing. So, the department people go to the beaches, collect those eggs then bring them out into this enclosure that is surrounded by the nets and then these eggs are left to hatch. Once they have hatched then they are taken in into these facilities in which we have large sized tanks and in those tanks we rear these turtles to an age where they become self sufficient and then we release them out in the wild. These sorts of ex-situ facilities also come in the definition of zoos as per the wildlife protection act.
(Refer Slide Time: 26:15)
Now, one of the things, so these were the good things about the zoos. But then in number of zoos, there are problems still, which need to be tackled. So, let us have a look at this tiger, now what is this tiger doing? This tiger is in a very small sized enclosure. You have concrete floors everywhere and this tiger is just pacing from right to left and left to right. Now, why is this tiger having this behavior? Now, the first thing is that this tiger is hardly anything else to do. If you look at this enclosure, there is hardly any behavioral enrichment.
So, for instance, if you are kept in a room and you do not have anything to do what would you do, you do not have a book to read, you do not have a movie to watch, you do not have a toy to play with. So, this is the situation of this tiger. So, this tiger is feeling bored and this tiger is displaying a behavior that goes by the name of stereotypes. Now, stereotypes are behaviors that an animal depicts when this animal is under stress and when the animal is feeling extremely bored.
So, in this case, this behavior would go on again and again and then later on if you are rearing these animals and later on, if you try to release them out into the wild situations, if you are trying to reintroduce any of these animals, they would show these stereotypic behaviors even in the wild. So, this would reduce the their fitness in the wild situations. So, these are things that need to be taken care off and these days in the zoos we are given more and more attention to these things.
(Refer Slide Time: 27:53)
So, what do we do to counter these behaviors such as stereotypes? We go for behavioral enrichment. Now, this is an image from the Johannesbug zoo and what do these people do? So, here you have another tiger and this tiger is pulling against this block; this sphere of mud. Now, why is this tiger doing this? Because, you are giving something for this tiger to do, this tiger also has 24 hours in a day and it can only sleep for n number of hours, not more. So, this tiger needs something to do. So, what are the kinds of behavioral enrichments that you can give to an animal?
(Refer Slide Time: 28:33)
So, for instance, in certain situations, the animal was given food on a platter. So, here the animal has a feed, the animal comes here, eats the feed and say, it takes 20 to 25 minutes. And after eating this food it has got nothing else to do. So, how can you enrich this behavior? You can take say for instance, a log of wood and in this log you create some holes.
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