Social media has been in a rage after a picture of two crocodiles covered in blood-red spots of paan and gutka went viral.
The picture was published by The News with the caption, “A sorry sight: crocodiles soak up the sun at the Karachi Zoo after paan and gutka-using visitors spat on them, leaving their bodies with blood-red spots.”
A sorry sight: crocodiles 🐊 soak up the sun at the Karachi Zoo after paan and gutka-using visitors spat on them, leaving their bodies with blood-red spots. Pic via @thenews_intl pic.twitter.com/vva1zgRSy7— Zia Ur Rehman (@zalmayzia) January 17, 2020
Immediately after the picture was shared on social media, people started expressing their outrage calling people indulging such acts “jaahil” and “horrible”. Some even questioned the competency of the zoo authorities as they failed to prevent incidents like this and protect animals.
They even demanded that people like these should be punished.
Animals have dignity too. What horrible people— Amber Rahim Shamsi (@AmberRShamsi) January 17, 2020
what kind of jaahil do you have to be to spit paan on an animal in a zoo pic.twitter.com/ZtAqjU6nuF— Sanam Maher (@SanamMKhi) January 17, 2020
“Incidents like these take place in the absence of the zoo’s staff,” Zoo and Safari Director Kanwar Ayub said on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din. “The person who spat on the crocodiles also took their pictures so that our staff can be demeaned,” he said.
Ayub blamed the incident on people visiting the zoo and their “lack of civic sense”.
The management of the Karachi Zoo has often been called out for mismanagement and cruelty with animals. “There is a shortage of staff at the zoo, but we are our making the best use of the resources available,” he said.
The director assured that such incidents will be prevented in the future as a new development project is under way at the zoo. “After the completion of the first phase of the project, security cameras will be installed.”
The animals imported for the zoo cost millions of rupees and even throwing a small wrapper can be harmful for their health, Ayub said.
“We are trying our best to provide a good environment for visitors but they need to take responsibility as well,” he added.
Similar cases have been cropping up on social media where animals have been subjected to cruelty. The Islamabad Zoo has been in the news recently because of the poor condition of the animals there. People had raised awareness regarding the condition of the zoo’s elephant, Himalayan brown bear and marsh crocodile.