I am writing this article to share what I think about Lahore zoo after my recent visit. I recently had an accidental visit to Lahore zoo. Accidental, in terms that it was not planned at all. Me and my brother went to some other place, BISE Lahore office to meet someone. Unfortunalety, when we reached, the office was having a break time and we had to wait 30 minutes. While waiting, I suddenly got reminded that I am very near to Lahore zoo, so me and my brother went there to spend a 30 minute time span without getting bored.
As I was walking towards the Zoo, I was reminded with all the childhood memories I had at that place. I am 22 years old and visited Zoo a few days ago. Before that, I guess I visited it at least 10 years ago. It’s so unfair that we only plan trips to Zoo when we are kids. Anyways, I walked into the gate noticing the same entrance as it was years ago.
I used to love that place when I was a child, but there were a few things about it that I really hated. Top of the list was the SMELL. Yes, the smell of animals as well as decayed meat, urine, human waste, dirty water etc. Another thing that I hated was the toilet system. I still remember how I used to wonder in shock that why do they charge for going to the toilet? We don’t get anything in return of that money. Well, I was a kid and I could think anything 😀 I also didnt like the food in cafeteria as my Mom always bought me fries (that had a strange smell of oil ) or popcorn(that were not at all crispy and hard enough to make my jaws pain) and yes, how could I forget the cold drink which was not at all carbonated and had a fake taste. Apart from these, I used to love Zoo because it had so many animals, birds and all seemed active, healthy and happy.
While I was walking through the gate to the very famous old tree, I noticed that there was no smell. Yes, there was no smell at all. In fact, I could smell flowers, leaves and grass. I was expecting that in the 10 year time span, the Zoo must have been improved and I could see a better version of it. I was wrong.
The real elephant ride has been replaced by a virtual elephant ride. The water in the crocodile lake was clean and clear, but had NO crocodile. Only a small, a very small alligator. The gardens are decorated with flowers, the cafeteria has occupied even larger space. There are rides, games and play lands for kids, but no animals. I missed those “LOTS OF MONKEYS”. No big snakes in the snake house. I was totally disappointed.
But then I saw some really great animals, the wild ones. The wild goats, buffaloes, normally found in northern areas. They are habitual to live in colder environments, and yes, NOISE-LESS environments. They are labelled with all this information, but ironically, they have not been provided that. They have labelled the cage warning people not to feed anything to deers, giraffes and other friendly animals, but still, people throw food to them. They throw food, stones, packets and Styrofoam cups which are really very harmful for them. There is no one to ensure that animals are safe around humans.
I am not sure the Zoo management is willing to face any emergency situation because apart from sitting in the offices, I couldn’t see anyone around. The majestic lion, who use to make the ground vibrate with his roar, was lying on the ground with his eyes half closed. He could barely breath in such a heat. People were throwing things at it, but it wasnt even moving. Poor Lion, The king, laid there like a looser and all credit goes to us, the humans.
Being a human, we are superior than all other species and yet we are unable to protect them. In fact, we are using them for our own stupid entertainment. I didn’t felt sorry for the animals, in fact I felt sorry for humans who failed them. Lahore Zoo needs attention. Animals are dying getting ill just because we want to make our kids happy by showing them the animals they see in the TV.
Lately, sunny the giraffe died due to lung cancer. We need to understand, that in order to use them for our entertainment, we need to respect them and protect them as well. We need to ensure the best habitat for them. Location of Lahore Zoo must be changed and more care takers must be hired for animals. Being on one of the busiest roads in the city, the Lahore Zoo needs to be looked after.
Government and other responsible authorities must pay attention to this matter and shift the Zoo to a peaceful and animal friendly environment to protect our animals.