Paguma Larvata
11/21/06

Monkey suffers as PHA monkeys about

Link: http://nation.com.pk/daily/nov-2006/20/localnews4.php

Monkey suffers as PHA monkeys about

IQTIDAR GILANI
LAHORE - Despite the intervention of World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan, Parks and Horticulture Authority has not provided natural habitat to a rhesus monkey put up in a small enclosure at Linear Park, Model Town for years in violation of rules for carrying out such an activity.

On growing public complaints, Species Focal Person WWF-P Uzma Khan wrote a letter to Director General PHA about four and a half-month back with the offer to extend technical assistance in improving the existing facilities for the animal at the park.

The PHA neither responded to the offer of WWF-P nor it itself improved the conditions for the solitary monkey getting ill-treatment at the Linear Park for so many years.

The situation is so pathetic that park administration has no proper arrangements of food for the monkey, putting it entirely on the mercy of visitors.

Besides this, the administration is not regularly cleaning the enclosure, putting the health of the animal and visitors, majority of them children, at stake. According to the Parks and Horticulture Authority officials, the Authority was considering the option of acquiring a mate for the solitary monkey.WWF-P suggests that the PHA should approach Punjab Wildlife department for this purpose, as any other means would not be in line with the Punjab Wildlife Act.
WWF-P also suggests increase in the size of the enclosure, as the existing one is too small to house a number of monkeys.

WWF-P further stated that the existing enclosure could not be cleaned properly as it consisted of only one compartment."The enclosure needed to have two portions. Animals can be temporarily confined to one area to allow the keeper to access one part of the enclosure for cleaning it thoroughly. Rhesus monkeys require high platforms to rest, ropes to swing and floor covered with straw. Straw helps maintaining the temperature of the floor, provides good bedding and promotes natural foraging behaviour, thus reducing boredom in captive animals," the letter reads.

WWF-P also recommended establishment of visitors' barrier to control direct interaction with the animal to avoid any untoward incident.
WWF-P also suggested placing of board at the enclosure carrying interesting facts about the animal, particularly the threats to its survival.

Director Communications WWF-P Amjad Aslam said well-being of animals should be safeguarded. He stressed upon the need of formulating new rules and implementation of existing laws to protect captive animals.

http://nation.com.pk/daily/nov-2006/20/localnews4.php

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