PESHAWAR: The death of animals in Peshawar Zoo has become a routine as nine animals have died during last one year, a document has revealed.

The document shows that three African giraffes died in the zoo due to food poisoning; black deer died due to infection; a wolf that died was brought to the zoo in injured condition; ibex and zebra died after being hit with fence, while a Chinkara deer was injured in fight with another deer. The most recent death was of a giraffe in June. It was third giraffe to die in the zoo, which sparked sharp criticism over handling of the zoo animals.

The document says as many as 91 animals were brought to the zoo and after successful reproduction the number of animals increased to 154. Last week, an African-origin lioness have birth to two healthy cubs. The zoo administration said the gender of the cubs could not be determined for 15 days, however both are healthy. A large number of citizens thronged the zoo to catch a glimpse of the cubs.

After the inauguration of the first ever zoo of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in February, 2018, Peshawar Zoo mostly remains in the news for wrong reasons. The death of so many animals in the zoo shows that the officials are not properly trained to look after the animals. After the inquiry of the animals’ death, no action was taken against any official over the death of animals.

Keeping in view these problems, the KP government has finally decided to send the staff of Peshawar Zoo for specialised training abroad. The government was under sharp criticism for handling of the zoo after which it felt the need to train the staff on modern lines.

The KP government told the provincial assembly recently that most of the animals in Peshawar Zoo died due to natural causes and no mismanagement was involved. However, training for the staff is considered vital to improve the performance of the zoo staff and attract more visitors. A large number of visitors are coming to the zoo daily with its reopening after closure due to coronavirus.