A large number of zoos across the country have been facing "severe hardships" in arranging food and drinking water for animals due to the restrictions imposed for containment of the novel coronaviruse, the Central Zoo Authority said on Tuesday.
The authority, a statutory body of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has now written to states and Union territories to specify supply of food and drinking water, and upkeep and health care of captive animals in zoos as "essential services" to exempt them from the restrictions.
A number of states and Union territories have imposed lockdown or curfew, shutting everything except essential services such as police, health, groceries, banks, pharmacies, petrol pumps etc, as the country grapples with the deadly virus which has claimed 9 lives and infected around 500 people in India.
"It is learnt that certain zoos are facing severe hardships in supply of food, drinking water, upkeep and healthcare of animals in captivity due to restrictions imposed for containment of Covid-19," CZA Member Secretary S P Yadav wrote in a letter to chief secretaries of all states and Union territories.
"In view of this, respective state governments and administration in Union territories are requested to specify the activities of food and drinking water supply, upkeep and healthcare of captive animals in zoos as 'essential services' and exempt them from the restrictions," the letter read.
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