MYSURU: Having grown accustomed to a diet largely comprising buffalo meat at Junagadh zoo in Gujarat, Shaurya, an Asiatic lion who was brought to Mysuru zoo under the animal exchange programme three months ago, found it slightly hard to adjust to. However, in the wake of the Centre’s notification banning sale of cattle for slaughter, it appears as if the 32-month-old lion could be returning to a regular diet of buffalo meat.
Carnivore animals at the Mysuru Zoo are largely fed beef.”In Gujarat, all carnivores are given buffalo meat, owing to the stringent provisions on slaughtering cattle there,” said officials at Mysuru zoo.
“If the Centre’s order is binding on wildlife facilities such as zoos, and if it’s enforced, we’ll have to think of feeding animals buffalo meat, since mutton is expensive,” they added. All zoos across the state adhere to the provisions of the Karnataka
Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Act 1964, which forbids slaughter of young and healthy cattle and prohibits slaughter without consent of a competent authority.
“Beef is the main diet of a number of carnivorous animals such as tigers, lions, cheetahs, leopards, etc. Barring Tuesday , we feed them meat every day of the week,” said K Kamala
, executive director of the zoo.
Kamala added, “We call for an annual tender since we require a large amount of beef. Contractors have to supply nearly 320kg of beef daily . We only accept beef that has been certified by a competent local authority .We will continue with the animals’ regular diet, which includes beef for now. We have not received any directions asking us to change the diet.”