LAHORE: The Lahore Zoo administration on Sunday hosted scores students from the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences to celebrate World Animal Day.
Various activities, including face painting for children, were organised in the zoo.
The staff offered stuffed toys to children to help them learn about the animals.
“The zoo is a space for recreation and learning,” said Kiran Saleem, an education officer. “We want the children to learn and have fun at the same time,” she said.
“The children will learn about ecology and environment,” she added.
Saleem said students from the UVAS had been invited because they were learning to care for animals.
“It is important for students to interact with animals and help others understand them as well,” she said.
Saleem Abdullah, a six-year-old visitor, said he particularly liked the stuffed lion cubs.
World Animal Day was first celebrated in 1931.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) organised a campaign around animal welfare. “We should raise awareness on cruelty to animals in captivity,” said Rab Nawaz, a senior biodiversity officer. “We should celebrate animal life and its relationship with mankind,” he said. “It is important to acknowledge ecological importance of animals. Knowledge about them brings us closer to nature. There is a dire need for awareness of animals across the world,” he added.
Species Conservation Director Uzma Khan said, “The number of wildlife species is declining because of illegal trade, habitat loss and conflict with local communities.”
She said the World Animal Day should serve as a reminder for individuals to be responsible. She said it was important to look after animals in zoos, research laboratories, farms and homes.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2015.