The Delhi zoo may have to look for alternative sources for procuring meat meant for its animals, after the 21-day nationwide shutdown announced Tuesday pulled the shutters down on the Ghazipur slaughterhouse, which supplies meat to the zoo daily. Currently, it has a meat inventory that would last for two or three days more.

The zoo officials are now trying to making alternative arrangements for ensuring daily supply for the animals. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), on Tuesday evening, had ordered the closure of Ghazipur slaughterhouse, the major facility that supplies meat across Delhi.

The corporation has also allowed the zoo authorities to slaughter animals within its own premises to feed the animals.

Zoo director Suneesh Buxy said they have a plan ready to meet the dietary requirement of all carnivore species housed at the zoo, and their daily supply requirement was about eight to 10 kilos of meat per carnivore. Though the zoo has its own slaughterhouse and two butchers, the issue is in obtaining animals for slaughter, he said.

"Buffalo meat is given to the four kinds of big cats we have — lions, tigers, leopards and jaguars — while the other carnivorous animals such as wolves and foxes prefer fowl (chicken). Fish is given to birds like pelicans," Buxy said.

"We have a stock of meat for two or three more days. We will not need to slaughter animals as yet, and we are planning to send our vehicles to collect the meat from another supplier. We have already sought permissions from the corporation as well as the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) for the same," Buxy said.

He added that in case this doesn't work out, then they will have to get animals transported to the zoo for slaughter. "Our range officers and security officials are still in Ghazipur to collect whatever stock they can. We still have enough live chicken stock to feed the carnivores. We will ensure that the animals are fed at all times," he said.

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