It's chicken for big cats in UP zoos

It's chicken for big cats in UP zoos
A sharp decline in the supply of buffalo meat following a statewide crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses has hit the inmates of the zoos hard, forcing the big cats and other carnivores to survive on chicken. Though the zoo officials in Lucknow, Kanpur and Etawah claimed they had arranged meat from other parts of the state and that there was no shortage, a source said the animals were being fed mutton and chicken along with buffalo meat.

“There was some shortage initially, but now the supply is back to normal... We have arranged for meat from other places for the animals,” said Anupam Gupta, director, Lucknow Zoo. The contractor who supplies meat to the Lucknow Zoo, however, said that he was unable to deliver buffalo meat as there was no legally operated slaughterhouse in the state capital. Zoo officials had approached the municipal corporation, which expressed its inability to do anything in this regard. State Forest Minister Dara Singh Chauhan visited the Lucknow Zoo on Friday and met the officials to enquire about the availability of meat for the animals.

“There may be some problems in the initial days, but the situation will be normal over the next few days,” said an official of the Lucknow Zoo. It seems to be the same situation at the Kanpur Zoo and Etawah Lion Safari. Another source said buffalo meat was being arranged for the lion safari from Agra. Officials said that new tenders would soon be floated for the supply of buffalo meat from abattoirs with valid licences.

There are 19 tigers and 16 lions, besides other meat -eating animals in different zoos in the state. Around 500 kg of meat is required to feed them daily. Hundreds of illegal abattoirs and meat shops have been sealed across the state since the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government took over.
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