Guwahati: Assam State Zoo has once again transferred several animals to Ambani’s Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Kingdom at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
According to Chiriakhana Suraksha Mancha, a Guwahati-based wildlife organisation, the Assam State Zoo authority late on Wednesday night transferred nine species of monkeys, two rhino calves, and several eight-horned deer, among other animals.
The move has sparked sharp reactions in Guwahati. Activists of the Chiriakhana Suraksha Mancha staged a protest against the alleged transfer of the animals from the Assam State Zoo to a private zoo owned by Ambanis.
“We staged an hour-long protest against the transfer of wild animals and even exotic species from the state zoo to other zoos in the country. Since 2018 till date, about 1100 animals of Assam State Zoo have been transferred to various zoos in the country in the name of the exchange. During the period, only 19 animals from other zoos have been brought to the state zoo here,” alleged Rajkumar Baishya, the general secretary of the Mancha.
Baishya in a statement alleged that a woman protester was “manhandled” by authorities of the zoo during the protest staged in the early hours of Thursday.
The Forum strongly condemned the incident and urged the government to take action.
“This incident took place when we tried to remove the tarpaulin from one of the vehicles where the animals were kept. We condemn this atrocious incident and demand action against the officials involved in it,” he said.
Assam State Zoo Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashwini Kumar, however, refused the allegations.
The Forum, in this regard, will be organising an awareness meeting of citizens in Guwahati on Saturday.
Earlier on November 20, Assam State Zoo had transferred several seized exotic animals, including different species of monkeys and tortoises to Ambani’s Zoo in Gujarat
Last month, the Assam Youth wing of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) moved the Gauhati High Court, seeking its intervention to stop the illegal transfer of wild animals from the state to Gujarat.
It was alleged that 25 exotic animals from Assam State Zoo to have been shifted to the same zoo in Gujarat.
Assam zoo DFO Ashwini Kumar said the transfer of the animals is being done with “proper authorization” from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).
The zoo owned by the Ambanis is a private entity, but it is under the CZA, he said.