IHC Demands Relocation of Himalayan Bears from Marghazar Zoo

After several delays regarding the relocation of Himalayan bears from the Marghazar zoo, IHC has demanded IWMB to file a report in this regard.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday has asked the secretary Ministry of Climate Change to file a report regarding the relocation of the Himalayan bears from the Marghazar zoo to a sanctuary in Jordan.

IHC Chief Justice, Athar Minallah, was heading a contempt case against the secretary and chairman of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board since they have not yet taken any action on the relocation of Himalayan bears from Marghazar zoo.

Secretary Climate Change, Naheed Shah Durrani, and IWMB Chairperson, Z.B. Mirza, appeared before an IHC court judge in response to a show-cause notice issued to them under the contempt of court law for neglecting the relocation of Himalayan bears from the Marghazar zoo.

The court ordered immediate effect regarding this issue. Previously, the IHC had passed the judgment on May 21, 2020, and subsequently issued orders to the ministry and the Marghazar zoo on July 18, 30, Aug 3, Aug 13, Sept 25, Sept 28, and Nov 27. However, they allegedly refused to the relocation of the two Himalayan bears, Suzzee and Babloo, to the sanctuary in Jordan.

Chief Justice IHC has further announced that the court has expressed confidence in the changing ministry and hopes they will begin work on the relocation of the Himalayan bears from Maghazar zoo.

Moreover, he said the IHC had passed an unprecedented order on animal rights which were being relied upon in the jurisdiction of various countries. Similarly, the court had asked for the relocation of the Himalayan bears from Marghazar zoo to some hill station in a natural environment like a sanctuary in Jordan.

However, the Climate Change ministry argued with the court saying that Jordan wouldn’t be suitable for the bears since they are not used to cold weather, and chances of them surviving are slim. IHC Chief Justice seemed to dismiss such claims and said Jordan was well-suited for the relocation of the Himalayan bears from Marghazar zoo since it has well-equipped staff along with proper facilities.

Justice Minallah further also said any argument by Climate Change counsel must be submitted in writing to the court. He further said once Islamabad’s wildlife sanctuary is equipped enough, the bears can be shifted back here from Jordan.

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