The nation-wide lockdown imposed in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic has turned out to be a major challenge for stray animals, most of who are faced with starvation. Animals in zoos are no exception. The zoo authorities across Gujarat are finding it difficult to supply food, especially meat due to the transport restrictions following the 21-day nation-wide lockdown.
Zoos in certain cities such as Vadodara, Rajkot, and Junagadh have procured buffalo meat for carnivores in advance whereas the zoo in Surat - Sarthana zoo has started feeding its big cats smaller meals of chicken.
The supply of meat has decreased over the last few days but the zoo authorities have stated that during summer, the heat naturally reduces the appetite of the carnivores. The authorities have a stock of fish for the birds and are able to feed more than 30 kgs of fish to the different kinds of birds in the zoo.
An official of the Sarthana zoo stated that although the overall supply has been impacted, it has been replaced with chicken. In the absence of a slaughterhouse in the zoo, the supply of chicken comes from outside.
However, Sayajibaug zoo in Vadodara is well-stocked and has a good supply of food for the animals. The authorities claimed that they had planned in advance and had contingency ready.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on March 24, announced that the country will be in a lockdown for three weeks effective midnight. In an address to the country PM Modi stated that in order to break the contact chain and stop the transmission of Coronavirus, it is important to stay at home and not venture out. Highlighting the dangers of venturing out, PM Modi warned the citizens that families will be devastated forever if the necessary precautions are not taken. He admitted that the country will be facing severe economic setbacks, but the lockdown is absolutely necessary.
He said, "As per health experts, a period of at least 21 days is extremely critical to break the infection chain of Coronavirus. If the situation is not handled in these 21 days, the country and your family could go back 21 years. If the situation is not handled in these 21 days, several families will get devastated forever. Hence, you must forget what going out means for the next 21 days. Stay inside your home, stay inside your home, and do just one thing- stay inside your home."