Tuesday, 1 September 2015

We Don’t Have Zoo

When my son said that his ambition is to become a zoo keeper, it got me into thinking how to get him employed in a country where there is no zoo. Why there is no zoo in Bhutan? Perhaps whole country is a zoo in itself. He has an inborn kindness towards the animals. Once he was seen burying a bug with teary eyes. But having a zoo is not showering kindness to animals – which, I may have to tell him when the time comes.   

The official record says that 72% of the country is covered with forests. And the constitution requires that the 60% of the forest cover should be maintained at all time. It may be because seeing at the other developed nations, with mass cutting down of trees for timber and other related product, depleting the green cover and destroying the habitat of the animals. Animals are therefore, kept in the zoo to preserve it, showing the kindness in most unkind way by imprisoning them in an enclosure making money out of the people who wish to ogle at them.

We have tigers killing the cows, yet tigers are protected animals and revered. We have wild boar menace on the agricultural fields, yet they cannot be killed, hunted down or culled by the government. We have elephant’s nuisance in the south destroying crops and houses yet they are not harmed. We try to co-exist with the wild life. Upholding the statement - ‘It is their (animals) planet too’ – is done more here than anywhere else. People have sacrificed the comfort associated with electricity, to accommodate the seasonal migratory bird which is at the brink of extinction. Happiness allied to seeing the bird landing when the season comes, I think, is greater than the happiness that people may get out of development.

Though, there is no international boundary and a boundary walls cannot be constructed for the atmosphere, Bhutan is trying its best to absorb what other countries are emitting through their power plants, factories and industries. Saddest part is that Bhutan is just a dot on the standard sized globe that we may see in many offices. And who cares about the dot?

Our wild animals would roam free in their habitat. Our people would sacrifice for the good of the world. But please, we urge the developed nations, to not to raise the bar of necessity so high, that we would have be left with no choice to catch you up by going digging for gold and converting our forests into dollars, caring little for the environment that we share without the boundaries.

Until then my sunny boy may have to change his ambition or go looking for employment outside……