BBP animal keepers seek better deal

BBP animal keepers seek better deal

Following the attack on an animal keeper by caged lions at the Bannerghatta Biological Park, the zoo authorities and animal keepers had a meeting with Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) officials on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the staff wanted to know what precautionary measures were being taken for their safety in the wake of the recent incident. They also demanded permanent employment, increase in salary and ESI facility. Failing which they threatened to go on a strike.

Speaking to Deccan Herald ZAK Chairman Rehana Banu said by April 15, a permanent ambulance will be provided to BBP. “CCTV cameras will also be installed across the park to ensure safety of animals and keepers. These cameras will help us know the exact cause of accidents and any untoward incidents. We will also provide walkie- talkie sets to all staffers so that they can stay in touch with each other round the clock. Alarms will also be erected at gate sand cages which will ring when they are open. This will immediately alert the staff and the visitors. All these arrangements will be provided in two months. The budget estimate for this will be prepared in another 15 days.”

Banu said, in principal clearance has been given to the demand for ESI facility to all keepers and their family members. A resolution will be passed in the ZAK board meeting in another 15 days. She said it was impossible to give the animal keepers permanent employment. “Instead, we are trying to give them other facilities similar to the ones given to mahouts and kawadis by the forest department. This too will be discussed at the ZAK board meeting,” she added.

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