KARACHI: Ranoo, a 20-year-old Syrian brown bear at the Karachi Zoo, will soon get a bigger cage, an official at the city’s metropolitan corporation said on Wednesday, a day after a high court ordered the local administration to provide the animal an environment similar to its natural habitat.
Pakistan has been in the spotlight in recent months over its treatment of animals at various zoos in the country. Earlier this month, authorities in Karachi said Malka, a female elephant at a safari park in the city, had a painful winter rash, which experts said indicated dehydration and a lack of adequate food and medical attention.
Last year, the “world’s loneliest elephant,” Kaavan, was rescued from a life of misery in Islamabad Zoo and sent to a sanctuary in Cambodia, and two Himalayan brown bears, Suzie and Bubloo, were airlifted to a wildlife park in Jordan.
“A large new cage which will have a small pond and air-conditioned space will be built at the cost of Rs2.9 million,” Ali Hassan Sajid, a spokesperson for the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) told Arab News, saying the zoo administration would create a natural environment for the bear as directed by the court.
He said authorities were already in the process of floating a construction tender to build a facility that would measure 45-by-35 feet.
About 40 petitioners moved the Sindh High Court last October after a video of Ranoo, in which social media users said she looked “exhausted,” went viral.
This bear in Karachi Zoo pakistan is in a terrible state without food and water. He’s panting due to thirst in his viral videos that were made by a visitor. He seems to be in a very bad shape and requires immediate help and rescue. pic.twitter.com/PfV8yq81iq
— zainab chughtai (@z_chughtai95) September 28, 2020
The petitioners said the bear was forcibly separated from its family, saying it should be moved to Pakistan’s northern region since it needed a cooler environment to survive.
Barrister Mohsin Shahwani, the counsel of the petitioners, told Arab News a two-member bench of the Sindh High Court had also expressed its displeasure with authorities for not complying with a previous order to provide a larger space to the bear.