The NGO says that the college has been housing these wild animals in the “mini zoo” without obtaining legal permissions from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India

NGO starts campaign to rescue animals from Kerala college mini zoo
news Monday, December 21, 2015 - 20:54

Humane Society International/India,(HSI), one of India's leading animal protection organizations, has launched a campaign to rescue wild animals kept in a “mini zoo” in Thrissur Irinjalakuda Christ College in Kerala.

The animal house was started in 1962 to help MSc Zoology students to learn animal behavior science.  It houses a peacock, a couple of crocodiles, a porcupine, civet cats and some pet animals like rabbits and guinea pigs.

It was in November that the HSI received a complaint that four puppies had been thrown inside the python enclosure in the animal house.

“By the time our team visited the spot, some students had already saved two of the puppies, but the other two were eaten by the snake. When we took rounds of the college, we found that there were around 10 wild animals housed in the college,” HSI India Managing Director N.G. Jayasimha told The News Minute.

The NGO says that the college has been housing these wild animals in the “mini zoo” without obtaining legal permissions from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India.

“We spoke to college authorities and they were very cooperative and readily agreed to surrender the animals,” Jayasimha said.

HSI has also launched an online crowd funding campaign on Ketto.org to rescue these animals.

“After 30 to 40 years of having a mini zoo and the forest department not knowing anything about it, the animals now  have a chance to be rescued and taken to a more enriched and natural place. But we need your help! Perhaps they will never be rehabilitated in the wild again but they need to get out of this filthy condition,” HSI wrote on the campaign page.

But the organization has alleged that that the wildlife and forest departments have not been cooperating with them in their initiative, even though they had accompanied the HSI team during the initial visits to the college.

“Legally, these animals should be rehabilitated to a different place where they should have a suitable habitat. At present, they are in a filthy condition. It is cruelty. But the wildlife department is least bothered about our requests even though we have offered our help to transfer the animals along with bearing all the costs,” Jayasimha said.

While the college has informed that they are ready to surrender the animals, they have maintained that they have been taking good care of the animals and that their living conditions are not filthy.

“We are completely ready to surrender the animals if the wildlife department gives us the permission. We were maintaining them quite well and they were not tortured as has been accused. We used to feed them properly,” Fr Jose TM, Principal of Christ Colleg, told TNM.

He further said that the department was aware of the animal house and that officials used to come to the college for regular inspections.

“When we started the zoo, we took all the required permissions from the concerned departments and we have the papers to prove it. Later, the rules changed and we did not get permission from the CZA . Since it was not easy to rehabilitate these animals in the wild, the department asked us to protect them,” Fr Jose added.

Speaking about the puppies that had been thrown inside the python’s cage, he said it was done on a day when the college was closed and that authorities had no idea about who did it.

“Stray dog menace has been a big issue here and so may be someone threw the puppies inside the cage. But we did not do it,” he said.

The Ketto funding petition states that the two puppies which survived have been adopted with the help of Ranjini Haridas.

 

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