Officials of the Dept. of Zoological Gardens say that financial provisions currently available for providing food to animals in zoological gardens including the zoological garden in Dehiwala are insufficient.
A discussion in this regard was held at the Wild Life Department today (31). According to officials of the Department food shortage in zoological gardens has been acute due to depleting of foreign tourists arrivals as well as local tourist arrivals caused by fuel crisis and ever increasing prices of animal food items.
In addition, the Dept. of Zoological Gardens is responsible for keeping elephants in their custody as the cost of which running into Rs. 45 Mn per year.
“Due to the above reasons budgetary allocation of the Department has already been spent.” officials of the Dept. pointed out.
At Present Rs. 59 million are in arrears payable to food suppliers to zoological gardens and at least Rs. 120 Mn is required to meet expenditure for animal food for the remaining period of this year.
In consideration of the above situation, Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation has decided to discuss with the General Treasury to obtain required financial provisions for the purpose.
The Minister instructed the officials to formulate foster animal rearing mechanism with the assistance of the general public and animal rearing institutions. The prevailing economic crisis is having devastating impact on both human beings and animal population. However, the Minister assured that the government would take every possible effort to rear the affected animal population.
Mrs. Chandra Herath, Secretary Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation also present on this occasion.