Friday, October 15, 2004


Chimpanzee Tinku dies at Lahore Zoo
Zoo management keeps hush on the death

The Lahore Zoo has lost one of its four chimpanzees, an endangered species, as a 4-year old chimpanzee, named Tinku, died of illness, however the zoo management had not made his death public, wildlife department sources told Daily Times on Friday.

The chimpanzee died because of zoo maltreatment and a lack of proper medical aid facilities.The zoo management had kept hush on Tinku’s death. Chimpanzees are priceless because they are an endangered African species. Chimpanzees and human beings have 70 percent genes in common and they are considered one of the most intelligent species of the animal kingdom.

Sources said that Tinku was born on April 2000 and was the first chimpanzee to have been born in Pakistan. His parents, named Romeo and Julie, have been in the zoo for over a decade. Since Romeo, the father, was hostile towards Tinku, he was separated from his parents and was brought up independently by zookeepers. However, Tinku’s sister, named Pinky, was living with the parents in the zoo. According to sources, Tinku fell ill towards the end of August and died in early September, however the zoo administration kept his death a secret. Sources claim that Tinku was suffering from pneumonia, which was a curable disease, and that proved that the zoo management had not taken care of the chimpanzee and were responsible for his death....

Sources added that the Lahore Zoo did not have a veterinary hospital like foreign zoos normally have. Moreover, it did not have x-ray facilities or stretchers to carry the animals in case of emergencies....

Ironically, Friday was the last day of a two-day international conference at the Lahore Zoo, which highlighted zoo management responsibilities and the handling and care of small mammals.