Imphal: Forest, environment and climate change minister Awangbow Newmai stressed on the importance of animals rights for peaceful co-existence between humans and animals during the 44th Foundation Day celebration of Manipur Zoological Garden at Iroisemba organised by the Wildlife Wing of the forest department.
Remembering the Father of the Nation, he said Mahatma Gandhi taught the world that one must practice non-violence, love and compassion for each other respecting the sentiments and rights of others including other living creatures living on this planet.
Human beings have higher and greater reasoning power compared to other animals, Awangbow said. Human beings have forgotten to respect the rights of other creatures which have resulted in nature turning against humankind in form of various natural calamities, increase in number of diseases and pandemics.
He said every living creatures including plant have their rights on the earth as they all play a vital role in keeping the earth fit for everyone to live in.
He said that the endangered species, which are verge of extinction, are being helped for breeding by the department officials at the Manipur Zoological Garden to increase their population. He said more awareness needs to be undertaken and if we do not act now many animals and birds species may become extinct.
The department has been trying to expand the area of the Manipur Zoological Garden and assured that the department will find ways and means for the expansion process. Stating that the department will try to find second home for the endangered animals kept in the Manipur Zoological Garden, he said good plans initiated by his predecessor will be continued.
Lauding the departments officials at the Manipur Zoological Garden, he said he salute them for their dedication towards their duty. He thanked them for feeding and taking care of the animals day and night at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, when people were scared to even venture out. Encouraging the field staffs of the department, he said that everyone has been assigned different roles which are important irrespective of the rank. He also lauded the animal feed suppliers for their dedication and concern for the animals.
Manipur Zoological Garden was established on October 2 1976 and this year the Wildlife Wing celebrated the 44th Anniversary during the Wildlife Week, 2020. It will conclude on October 7.
Stating that Manipur Zoological Garden is categorised as medium zoo by the Central Zoo Authority and is home to a number of rare and endangered species which are endemic to the region, he said many of them are included in the Schedule I and Schedule II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. He said some of these animals are sangai, hoolock gibbon, clouded leopard, leopard cat, nongin, griffon vulture, and reticulated python among others.
To mark the occasion of the foundation day of the Manipur Zoological Garden and Gandhi Jayanti, dignitaries cleaned the campus and planted saplings of the fruit bearing trees. During the function staffs, attendants and suppliers of animal feed were also given prizes acknowledging their contribution and exemplary dedication during the Covid-19 pandemic.