Animals at a zoo in India were deliberately deprived of food for two days because of a dispute about payment to the zoo contractor.
The company in charge of running the Siddharth Zoo in Aurangbad, India had not been paid by city officials for the past three months. In protest to the delay the company refused to feed the animals and ordered employees to leave the zoo.
Zoo employees upset by the situation went directly to the mayor’s office to complain. Mayor Anita Ghodele then ordered that immediate payment be made to the zoo contractor.
However, the check was not handed over to the contractor. Instead city employees claimed they could not cut the check “because of technical reasons.”
The mayor then claimed that she personally inspected the zoo and made arrangements to feed all of the animals - but food was not delivered that day or the next. The animals were starved for two full days.
The whole sordid set of circumstances actually appears to be about concerns that the contractor was cheating the city. Officials claimed the company was buying stale meat at a cheap price, but charging the city for the full amount and pocketing the difference.
But instead of accusing the contractor or working on a solution to the problem, they simply stopped paying the company and apparently made no provisions for the well-being of the animals.
Poorva Joshipura, chief officer for PETA India said, “It is against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 to deprive animals of food. PETA will be urging the Central Zoo Authority and the police to investigate the zoo for illegal activity immediately.”
The Siddharth Zoo was established in 1984. It is home to 22 species of animals. It has a snake park and aviary park and houses two lions, seven white Bengal Tigers and eight Royal Bengal Tigers. It is also home to 34 deer, two elephants and 10 blue bulls.
The zoo was in the news in August when a female tiger was released from her cage and wandered on her own the whole night. She was captured the following day.