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Penguins in Mumbai


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I know a lot of people here are animal rights activists and/or care deeply for species other than their own, so I thought this would be a good place to share this. 


Despite widespread protests, the Byculla Zoo in Mumbai has just acquired eight Humboldt penguins for their new aquarium (which has not even been built yet). The average temperature in Mumbai is 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) on any given day of the year--extremely unsuitable for animals that are native to the much-colder Pacific coast of South America. In order to keep the penguins in a temperature-controlled environment, massive amounts of water and electricity will have to be used. All this when we've just had a three-year-long, state-wide drought, and have to buy electricity from four other states just to keep ourselves on our feet. 


More on the penguins here.


Sadly, this is not the first instance of animal abuse that has come to the fore recently. A lot of people have begun to keep furry purebred dogs like Saint Bernards and Huskies as a status symbol, making their lives miserable in the Indian summer heat. I know Michael said that India was entering its Young Soul Age. I see evidence of this everywhere, from the burgeoning start-up culture, to an emphasis by the media on youth and individuality, to the government's efforts to promote "Brand India" in a bid to catch up with the rest of the world (and surpass it). On the other hand, I also see a bit of the Mature paradigm affecting us, especially in the arts, where filmmakers and artists are choosing to break away from the traditional Bollywood stereotypes of family and honour, moving towards inclusivity and silenced voices in their art, albeit packaged in a Young Soul flavour. Bringing the penguins into a state-managed zoo seems to me like the Mumbai Municipal Corporation is trying to get a one-up on the world by proving that they, too, are capable of keeping and breeding 'exotic' animals with all the flair of a First World country. 


This post was intended as a kind of rant (along with a bit of news from this side of the world), but any inputs/advice on the situation would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance and lots of love! 

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