Kohima Zoo

Kohima, Nagaland
February 2006

  • Nearly all the enclosures were poorly maintained and foul-smelling. Excrement covered the floors, contaminating the drinking water in many cages.
  • There were no roofs to protect animals from the elements.
  • There were no stand-off barriers to keep visitors at a safe distance from the cages. The keepers’ quarters were located right beside the animal enclosures, separated only by a low wall.
  • Animals appeared hungry and were seen begging for food. Food items – which apparently had been thrown in by visitors – were observed on the floor of one of the bear cages.
  • The facility had poor security and was in disrepair, making it easy for people to enter or break into the zoo and its enclosures. People were observed scavenging firewood on the zoo grounds. Locals confirmed that animals had often been smuggled out and killed for food.
  • On the day of our inspection, animals exhibited acute stress-related stereotypic behaviour, such as banging their heads on walls and spinning in circles.
  • The cement floor of one bear enclosure was wet and foul-smelling, and there was no dry or clean place for the animal to sit. There was also a leaking tap next to the cage.
  • A bear was kept alone in a barren cage, with only one small window and two holes to keep the enclosure from being entirely closed in. The cage was full of stone and mud projectiles, which had apparently been thrown into the enclosure by visitors.
  • The retiring cubicle of one leopard was very small and insufficient. Many animals had no retiring rooms at all.
  • Bird enclosures had broken netting. No water was observed.
  • Gibbons and other monkeys had visible wounds. No food or water was observed.