Mumbai’s Byculla Zoo, which is the only zoo in India that currently houses penguins, had refuted all claims of being under-prepared to provide shelter to the birds. But it now turns out that the zoo had to borrow an oxygen cylinder and other life-saving equipment as one of its prized birds lay dying, because it didn’t have any of it. 

The incident took place on October 22 when the one-and-half-year-old penguin was having trouble breathing and needed oxygen. The bird subsequently died. 

Dr Ramesh Kagzi, CEO of Balaji Hospital, said that his hospital had provided an oxygen cylinder along with an oxygen mask, pulse oxymetre, oxygen tubing, oxygen analyser and oxygen humidifiers, as the zoo did not have the requisite equipment, reports Mumbai Mirror.

The zoo got eight Humboldt penguins in from South Korea in July this year. However, it came in for criticism from several animal rights activists for its decision to bring penguins to Mumbai and keep them in a specially designed habitat.

In October, one of the eight Humboldt penguins died after a week long illness. The female penguin, named Dory, had died due to severe bacterial infection. Several veterinary experts had then said that zoo has had a history of animals suffering from bacterial infections, reports Hindustan Times.

Meanwhile, Central Zoo Authority has slapped a second show-cause notice on the Byculla zoo asking them to improve their infrastructure. 

It has also demanded a status report on maintenance of the remaining seven penguins as well as the post-mortem report of Dory’s death, reports Indian Express. 

(Feature image source: Twitter| Lata Mishra)