The zoological gardens in India need a paradigm shift from exhibitionism towards animal education and awareness.
While major zoos around the world have been contributing significantly towards captive breeding of several rare and critically endangered species, Indian zoos have been barely successful, with the exception of only a handful. There is hardly any high-quality animal breeding or animal behaviour research being conducted in any zoo across the country under credible supervision.
The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has a loose association with the Indian zoos, which are mainly run for the classical purpose of public entertainment, only with poor management. India being mega-biodiverse, the Central Zoo Authority and the ZSI need to do way more to upgrade the quality of the zoos across the nation, such as by introducing modern conservation management practices and encouraging high quality caged animal research.
Lack of due surveillance and monitoring, as well as reduced funding and improper zoo management, has been making Indian zoos centres for cruelty towards animals, with minimal contribution towards proper conservation, scientific education research and public awareness.
Indian zoos need a paradigm change in their management; they need to shift focus to broader objectives than simple display of animals.
Saikat Kumar Basu,