Animal Welfare Activists solicit support to shut down the illegal mini zoo at Christ College

Farista Mirri, an animal welfare activist based at Thrissur,  working  with various animal welfare organizations to prevent and stop cruelty towards animals in Kerala has taken up cudgels  to rescue more than 10 wild animals from an  illegal mini zoo allegedly being run in Christ College, Irinjalakuda, Thrissur . In her Facebook post, she has solicited support and funds to shut down the mini zoo in the college, where, she says,  the animals have been languishing in pathetic conditions, some for the pass three or four decades.

Keeping animals in such conditions is not only cruel to the animals but also sends out the wrong message and learning to students. Sometimes I wonder what all the students through the 30 years of the existence of the mini zoo at the college learnt about compassion when they saw animals being caged, poked at and made fun of every day of their lives, she asks in her post.

Farista Mirri  has started a campaign on the crowd funding ketto website to raise funds Let’s Close Down Illegal Kerala Zoo and to contribute it  for Humane Society International/India, The campaign has successfully raised Rs.1,09,620 with its ending by now.
The sad plight of the animals came to light on November 16, 2015, when Farista and her friend, Sally Kannan received a call from the students of Christ College.  Someone from the college campus had thrown four tiny puppies into a Python cage.

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“We rushed to the college just in time to see two puppies being rescued by compassionate students of the college. But to our horror, two puppies had already been eaten up alive by the Python. The two which survived have now been adopted thanks to Ranjini Haridas and have now been named Billie and Jean!, “- says Farista.

 

“But, what we saw next at the college visit shocked us! The college did not only have a python enclosure but also housed other wild animals including a peacock, a couple of crocodiles, a porcupine and civet cats which are all protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It was in fact a mini zoo! They also bred other animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks and white rats in pathetic conditions, some of them only to feed the carnivorous animals at the mini zoo”. she adds in her appeal.

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 The mini zoo is not recognized by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India which makes it illegal in itself and the private housing of those animals a violation under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. When we went to speak to the college authorities, they readily agreed to surrender the animals. After 30 to 40 years of having a mini zoo and the forest department not knowing anything about it, the animals now  have a chance to be be rescued and taken to a more enriched and natural place. 

 We have already informed the forest department and brought this issue to their notice. They came with us for an initial inspection this week, following which, we are working with them to rescue these animals anytime within the next 10 days. These animals will be moved to a safer and less cruel place, 

 After 30 years of having a mini zoo and the forest department not knowing anything about it, the animals now have a chance to be rescued and taken to a more enriched and natural place. But we need your help! Perhaps they will never be rehabilitated in the wild again but they need to get out of this filthy condition!, Farista Mirri concludes seeking support for their campaign to rescue the beleaguered animals.

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