Animal keepers boycott work at Bannerghatta Park

Animal keepers boycott work at Bannerghatta Park

Animal keepers at Bannerghatta Biological Park boycotted work on Tuesday demanding double pay for working on a zoo holiday. Over 210 keepers,  normally engaged in feeding animals, cleaning enclosures and opening and closing safari gates, struck work. 

In the past four months, BBP has remained open on five Tuesdays forcing keepers to work even on holidays.  They are paid a measly Rs 226 as remuneration for that day. The keepers had sought double payment as they were sacrificing their holiday.

Animal Keepers' Union leader Suresh says earning revenue for the Park has become the lone priority  for the management.  “There have been many Tuesdays BBP  remained open and asked keepers to work.  Besides keepers, animals also need a break, but they are not bothered about animals,” he added. 

According to park officials, an elephant and her calf came up till the kitchen which prepared ragi balls for them as deputed keepers had forgotten to feed them.  

Elephants normally come back in the evening, but today these elephants came back in the afternoon to have their share of ragi balls, they said.  
 On Tuesday, only herbivores are fed, while carnivores are kept away from their daily meat consumption.  Suresh says normally carnivores are brought to their enclosures during feeding time in the evening, but since they are not fed on Tuesdays, a minimal amount of chicken is kept only to lure big cats back to their enclosures. Many a time, keepers have to chase these animals like cattle to ensure they are enter the enclosures. 

However, BBP Executive Director Range Gowda said revenue was never the criteria to keep the park open on holidays. Henceforth, a decision whether to keep the park open on Tuesdays or not would be taken, he said, adding the decision to increase remuneration has to be decided in the general council meeting as it applies throughout the State.  

Despite animal keepers boycotting work, the park collected one of its highest revenues in a single day on Tuesday.  Range Gowda said an amount of Rs 5.5 lakh was collected on Tuesday which otherwise is Rs 1.5 lakh. 

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry