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Plight of caged animals (Photo Feature)

Plight of caged animals (Photo Feature)

A few days ago, I came across a distressing news article revealing the plight of six tigers, four males and two females, residing in the central zoo of Jawalakhel, Lalitpur. These majestic creatures have been subjected to a weekly ‘fasting’ routine every Saturday.

According to Ganesh Koirala, the Information Officer of the zoo, the cost of feeding a tiger at the required rate of five kilograms of meat per day amounts to a staggering Rs 5.6m annually. I wanted to capture the moment of tigers being fed, but the zoo officials didn’t allow me to do so.

Unfortunately, the zoo is currently housing more tigers than its capacity allows, resulting in an increased financial burden. As a consequence, the decision was made to impose the fasting regimen on these magnificent animals.

Tigers, the largest living cat species and iconic apex predators, are known for primarily preying on ungulates like deer and wild boar. However, within the confines of the Jawalakhel zoo, they are deprived of their natural diet and are only provided with water on their fasting day.

Deeply moved by this distressing revelation, I felt compelled to visit the zoo to capture the somber reality of these tigers through my camera lens.

Regrettably, it wasn’t just the tigers suffering under such conditions; all the animals and birds in the zoo seemed to endure similar hardships. They appeared visibly malnourished, being inadequately fed, and confined to cramped spaces.

As a photographer, it was disheartening to witness the state of these beautiful creatures, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of urgency to raise awareness about the concerning conditions they are forced to endure at the central zoo of Nepal.