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Recent animal deaths irk Forest Minister

By STAFF Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 22 - The Government today transferred the veterinary doctor posted at the Assam State Zoo here. Dr BK Kakoti will go back to the Veterinary department and Dr Bijoy Gogoi will replace him. Dr Gogoi had earlier served as a pathologist at the zoo.

Dr Kakoti was brought on deputation to the zoo three years back. Sources in the Forest department said Dr Kakoti was unable to �handle things competently.�

�There had been instances in the past where he could not make diagnosis properly,� a senior official in the Forest department said.

It is learnt that the State Zoo authorities had also written to the Forest department seeking a replacement. A source in the State Zoo said Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma had taken serious note of the recent death of zoo animals and was upset with the performance of the doctor.

When contacted by The Assam Tribune, Dr Kakoti pointed out that the zoo lacks basic facilities and manpower, and that blaming him for the current state of affairs would amount to �injustice.�

�What can a single person do? I have to visit many places to rescue animals. The other day I had to go to the Barak Valley,� he said.

The zoo does not have any quarantine facility to keep injured animals which are brought there very often, Dr Kakoti added. �The hospital at the zoo resembles a general dispensary with just a few basic facilities. There are no modern equipment. We have written to the Government on several occasions regarding the problems, but things have not changed much,� he said.

Dr Kakoti said he had served the zoo for three years and �in any case, a new posting was due.�

The Zoo Protection Forum, a newly formed organisation, has been making allegations about lack of facilities at the zoo.

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