27 January, 2021

Who Will Mind The Keepers?

Attitude is the biggest problem, says vet Rita Goyle

Who Will Mind The Keepers?

I joined the Delhi zoo way back in 1986 because I loved wild animals and it was a chance to work with them. But once I joined, my dream job turned out to be quite frustrating. No one was willing to work-it was the chalta hai attitude typical of government employees that really used to annoy me. You ask the keepers to clean the cages and they would come up with a thousand excuses not to.

I remember we once had to put an injured neelgai into the covered enclosure because it had dislocated its shoulder in a fight with another male. So I asked the keeper in charge to sprinkle some hay or sawdust on the floor as neelgai slip on cement floors. But of course the keeper didn’t listen to me and two days later came rushing to the hospital. "Come quick, the neelgai is bleeding to death," he said. I was so cross. "Why should I rush now?" I asked him. "I warned you this would happen and you did nothing." The neelgai had slipped and torn an artery. It survived but all that trouble of tranquilising it, surgery, stitches, could have been avoided if only...



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