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Respecting the rights of animals vital for ecological balance: Forest Minister

 Source: The Sangai Express / DIPR

Imphal, October 02 2020: Minister of Forest, Environment and Climate Change 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 today organised by the Wildlife Wing of the Forest Department.

Remembering the Father of the Nation, he said that 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.

Stating that human beings have higher and greater reasoning power compared to other animals, Minister Awangbow Newmai said that human beings have forgotten to respect the rights of other creatures which have resulted in nature turning against us in form of various natural calamities, increase in number of diseases and pandemics.

Respecting the rights of animals vital for ecological balance: Forest Minister

Respecting the rights of animals vital for ecological balance: Forest Minister

Opining that it is the duty of the human beings to respect trees, plants, animals and insects, he said that 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 Forest department is continuously raising awareness among the people, especially those dwelling in the forest about the importance of afforestation and animals.

He said that the endangered species, which are on the 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.

Minister Awangbow Newmai said 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 that 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 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.

Dr AK Joshi, Additional PCCF and Chief Wildlife Warden said that the Manipur Zoological Garden was established on 2nd October, 1976 and this year the Wildlife Wing of the Forest Department is celebrating the 44 th Anniversary during the Wildlife Week, 2020 which is being observed from 1st to 7th October, 2020 .

He said that every year first week of October is celebrated as the Wildlife Week throughout the country to renew the commitment to preservation, protection and conservation of our rich wildlife and biodiversity.

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.

Ahead of the function, 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 staff, attendants and suppliers of animal feed were also given prizes acknowledging their contribution and exemplary dedication during the COVID pandemic.

Leishiyo Keishing, Chairman Hill Area Committee and MLA Phungyar AC; Khashim Vashum, MLA Chingai AC; MH Khan, Additional Chief Secretary (Forest, Environment and Climate Change); K Angami, PCCF and HoFF and other officers of the Wildlife Wing attended the function.