Authorities perservere in efforts to create a litter free Malé

As authorities continue efforts to eradicate littering from the capital city Malé, the council has today revealed the scale of the problem.

Statistics released by Malé City Council showed the litter collected on the streets of Malé on a single day amounted to nearly one ton’s worth.

Among the waste collected was 18,499 empty bottles of water, 1,868 bottles of soft drinks, 4,198 juice packets, 8,740 soda cans, and 8,384 empty cigarette packs.

“I would like to call upon those living in Malé to keep the streets clean,” said Director General at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ahmed Naeem.

“It’s not just your homes you should clean for Ramadan. Malé is a small, congested island with a large number of inhabitants. Every one needs to do their bit to keep the island more habitable.”

Naeem stated that the amount of waste observed on streets has increased tremendously with the approach of Ramadan, during which household waste is expected to double.

Earlier in June, the council displayed a day’s litter collected from Malé’s streets – amounting to 1,600 large garbage bags – in an attempt to raise awareness of the issue.

“We are doing all this in the hope that seeing the amount of waste they are producing, the people of Malé will become more responsible and stop such actions,” said Malé City Mayor Mohamed Shihab.


Meanwhile, some locals continue to complain that, while the dustbins placed around Malé for public use are often “difficult” to use.

“Have you even gone near one of those bins? There’s rotting food and fish guts in there. It’s gross. I would much rather toss my soda can near the side of the street then go up to one of those bins,” 18-year-old Hawwah Nashwa opined.

Waheeda Ali, meanwhile, said that the dustbins are “always full that it is not worth the effort to walk a few blocks to find one”.

Mayor Shihab noted that the dustbins are meant for the disposal of waste produced while on the streets, like candy wrappers, soda cans, and so on, and not for household waste.

“People should not be disposing household waste in these bins. It is labelled clearly and people need to be more responsible. Household waste is to be disposed in the barge we have in the harbour for the purpose,” Shihab responded.

Another individual complained about there not being sufficient dustbins in the streets.

“You have to walk a dozen blocks to find one of those. No one is going to go to the trouble, not after a culture of littering has already set in to people’s mindsets,” said Jailam Ali.

“If the council can’t afford to place more dustbins, maybe they should make it mandatory for shops to place dustbins out on the streets near their establishments,” she added.

Mayor Shihab responded to these comments by explaining that too many dustbins has been seen to result in issues with the disposal of household waste.

Referring to this larger issue, Shihab stated that while the council is ready for implementation, the agreement with Tatva Global Renewable Energy remained on hold due to the Finance Ministry’s failure to sign the final approval.

Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad was not responding to calls at the time of press.

Fines for littering

Meanwhile, the EPA began imposing fines on those who litter on the streets of Malé City earlier this month – in accordance with new waste management regulations.

The regulation – which came into partial effect on February 5 – imposes an MVR100 (US$6.5) fine for littering and a fine between MVR10,000 (US$648.5) and MVR100,000 (US$6,485) if any authority in charge of public spaces fails to provide dustbins.

EPA Director General Ibrahim Naeem stated that so far the fine is only being levied against those who litter on streets of the capital. In addition to EPA staff, the police’s Environmental Protection Unit and the council itself are mandated to issue fines.

“We will begin implementing the other fines, and littering fines in other islands, when the councils and other relevant bodies become ready for enforcement. So far, it only applies in Malé,” he said.

Police media confirmed that they had begun implementation of the regulation, but were unable to provide statistics.

While not providing figures either, Naeem assured that many fines have been issued so far, and that positive effects can be seen in areas of Malé, especially around the local markets in Maafannu.

Naeem added that currently most of the fines have been levied against shops and vendors, instead of individuals.

“It’s far easier to fine shops who leave their garbage outside their shops than it is to catch an individual in the act of littering. But that is where we aim to go. We aim to reach the level where a person can be fined for throwing a tissue or cigarette butt on the street,” he continued.


Ecocare concerned about implementation of ray protection regulations

Environmental NGO Ecocare has expressed concerns about the implementation of government regulations to protect all species of rays, citing a lack of enforcement mechanisms.

“While we welcome the government’s decision to protect rays, we have to say that simply ‘protecting’ it via a regulation is not sufficient,” said Spokesperson Maeed Mohamed Zahir.

“For example, turtles and sharks are also protected as per official records. However, the reality is that they are still hunted even today. Turtle and shark meat are widely available in some atolls as a delicacy. There is no point in announcing regulations if it cannot be enforced,” continued Zahir.

The Maldivian Manta Ray Project, the Manta Trust, and Save Our Seas Foundation released a statement on June 5 announcing that the Maldives government has officially added all species of ray to its protected species list.

“After the successful defeat of shark finning in recent years, the announcement of full legal protection for all ray species sets the Maldives as a leader country in marine conservation and marks another crucial step toward the global protection of these magnificent, yet vulnerable species,” said Maldivian Manta Ray Project Manager Niv Froman.

The Maldives has the largest recorded population of reef mantas, reports the Manta Ray Project, noting that the country has had a ban on the export of ray products since 1995.

“As an island nation, the Maldives long realised the importance of a healthy and balanced marine ecosystem. Hosting the world’s largest manta ray population, this country attracts thousands of tourists every year seeking the lifetime experience of swimming with these gentle giants,” said Froman.

Ecocare’s Zahir, however, suggested that the lack of an independent oversight body would further contribute to the ineffectiveness of species protection in the country.

He alleged that the sole monitoring body – the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – is a department reporting to the Ministry of Environment and hence has no say over government actions.

“The EPA has its hands tied when it comes to criticising government action. There isn’t even a committee in the parliament which is mandated to oversee environmental protection. The biggest problem we face is the lack of a strong enforcing mechanism”.

Maeed further argued that mechanisms currently exist “only in name” and prove to be ineffective in practice, noting that the police force’s Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) currently has a staff of just one.

The unit was formed last year to investigate and punish violations of laws relating to biodiversity and littering after similar complaints from civil society regarding implementation.

A police spokesperson – while not confirming the number of staff at the EPU – said that regardless of the number of staff in the unit, all police officers will provide support when necessary.

“We want to make it clear that we are not mandated to monitor whether persons follow the regulations when it comes to environmental protection. That is the job of solely the EPA and the Environment Ministry,” explained the spokesman.

“Our unit is only called into action when and if the EPA reports any criminal activity related to the environment,” he explained.

Environmental Consultant Moosa Athfal echoed Ecocare’s concerns, arguing that more feasible solutions might be considered.

“While protection of rays is a commendable act, the question is can the Environment Ministry monitor it? There are a countless number of rays in our seas. It would not be wrong to term the action as impossible, given the country’s current mechanisms,” said Athfal.

“If it can’t be implemented, then it is a pointless regulation. The best form of solution at present would be to provide relevant training to dive guides, who can then monitor such activity,” Athfal stated.

President’s Office Spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali directed queries on the matter to the Environment Minsiter Thoriq Ibrahim, who was not responding to calls at the time of press.

The Environment Ministry’s Assistant Director Ilham Mohamed stated that she is unaware of a government decision to protect rays, while the EPA Director Ibrahim Naeem’s phone was not responding to calls at the time of publication.


EPA against airport development on Farukolhu

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected a proposal to develop an airport on an environmentally sensitive area in Farukolhu Island in northern Shaviyani Atoll.

“We believe the damage caused to such an environmentally sensitive area does not justify the project,” EPA’s Director General Ibrahim Naeem told Minivan News today.

Farukolhu has extensive mangroves and is a nesting ground for several species of birds. Sharks and rays frequent the island’s bay for breeding.

In June 2013, Minister of Tourism Ahmed Adeeb and recently dismissed Minister of Transport Ameen Ibrahim leased out the island to Araam Travels Pvt Ltd to establish an airport.

The project – to be completed within 15 months – would boost tourism in the area, Adeeb said. He identified lack of transport infrastructure to be the biggest obstacle to tourism in Shaviyani Atoll.

The company was awarded Gaaf Alif Atoll Innahera Island for resort development under a public-private partnership agreement to subsidize the airport venture.

The US$ 4 million project was to reclaim 1.8 hectares from the island’s mangrove sites to construct airport runway. Generators, desalination plants, sewerage and drainage facilities and a jetty were also planned.

The EPA rejected the proposal based on an environmental impact assessment. Araam Travels can appeal the EPA’s decision with Minister of Environment and Energy Thoriq Ibrahim.

If the minister upholds the EPA’s decision, the government may have to designate another island for airport development.

According to local media, a company owned by Health Minister Dr Mariyam Shakeela’s husband, Mohamed Ibrahim Didi, owns a stake in Araam Travels.

The EPA recently halted reclamation in Dhaal Atoll Meedhoo Island for violating environmental regulations.

Established in 2009, the EPA functions under the supervision of a governing board within the Ministry of Environment and Energy. The agency has published a list of protected areas and a separate list of ‘environmentally sensitive areas.’

Local environmental groups have spoken out against the dredging of a mangrove site in Haa Dhaal Atoll Kulhudhuffushi Island for airport development.

There are nine airports in the Maldives, of which five are domestic airports.


Experts in the dark on effects of Meedhoo reef crack

The long-term effects of a crack in Dhaalu Atoll Meedhoo Island reef are unknown, experts have told Minivan News.

The crack – 5 inches wide running at least 13 meters deep – was discovered on the reef slope this week in the aftermath of a 20-hectare reclamation project. Reefs protect shorelines from storm surges and are hotspots for marine biodiversity.

Although cracks have previously been reported on Malé City and Thilafushi Island reefs, there have been no studies on their impacts, environmentalist and dive instructor Azim Musthag told Minivan News.

“This is concerning because we do not know what the long-term effects of cracks caused by industrial action are,” he said, noting that cracks sometimes do appear naturally in the reef.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy has said it is unclear if the crack was caused by reclamation work, and said a team from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is currently on the island to investigate how the crack was formed as well as its possible long-term effects.

Even if the crack was caused by reclamation, there might not be any cause for concern with work already completed, environmental expert at CDE Consulting Ahmed Shaig said. But, possible extreme negative effects could be the collapse of parts of the reef slope, he said.

A 2007 study of the cracks in the northeastern slope of the Malé reef projected that the island’s reef edge may retreat if eroded parts of the reef fall in.

The study by former deputy director at the Environmental Research Center Mahmood Riyaz said Malé City’s reef slope consists of hard coral rock in the first two- three meters called cap rock, and a layer of weakly cemented and highly erodible mixture of coral sand at between four and six meters.

The cracks had removed the hard cap layer, exposing the weakly cemented layer to further erosion, and “eroded parts are expected to fall into the atoll lagoon and cause further retreat of the reef edge,” the study said.

The Malé reef had cracked in areas under a lot of weight and subject to continuous vibration generating work such as construction, the study said.

Meedhoo Councillor Abdul Azeez said he too was unsure if the crack was caused by reclamation, but said the project had caused severe damage to the reef due to sedimentation.

Only 100 feet remained between the new shoreline and the reef edge, “so sedimentation is unavoidable,” Azeez said. But he welcomed the reclamation project saying “this is a dream come true after 22 years.”

Sedimentation had been caused by dredging company Royal Boskalis Westminster’s failure to build a barrier to prevent excess dredge from spilling on to the reef. Photos show healthy corals inundated by sand across large swathes of the reef.

Azim said the reef would take years before it began recovering and said it might be at further risk of sedimentation by sand spillover if the new shoreline is left unprotected.

The reclamation project has come under fire for using a method called the rainbow technique, which propels sand and salt through the air, covering houses and shoreline vegetation in dredge soil. The fine sand particles thrust into the air may cause respiratory issues, the Health Protection Agency has warned.


Boskalis committing “environmental crimes” in UNESCO biosphere reserve, says Ecocare

Netherlands based maritime infrastructure company Royal Boskalis Westminster is committing “serious environmental crimes” in the Maldives, a local environmental group has said.

The company – claimed to have the world’s largest dredging fleet –  has come under fire for mining sand from the country’s only UNESCO biosphere reserve in Baa Atoll.

It also failed to build a barrier to prevent excess dredge soil from spilling onto the reef in Baa Atoll Eydhaushi Island – a move that could cause serious damage to the fragile ecosystem.

“Boskalis has to leave the Maldives now,” Ecocare founder Maeed M. Zahir told Minivan News.

The US$ 37 million four-island reclamation project has reclaimed 20 hectares in Dhaalu Atoll Meedhoo Island in March and 33 hectares in Baa Atoll Eydhafushi Island last week. Work is ongoing on Kaafu Atoll Thulusdhoo Island while a date for reclamation in Dhaalu Atoll Kudahuvadhoo Island has not yet been set.

In the two islands where reclamation was completed houses and vegetation on the shorelines were also covered in fine mixture of sand and salt due to the use of the “rainbow technique” which propels soil into the air.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has previously said fine sand particles thrust into the air by the rainbow technique could cause lung and respiratory issues.

Housing Ministry complicit

Maeed accused the Housing Ministry of being complicit in Bosaklis’ violation of environmental regulations, noting the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) had issued several warnings ordering the company to stop unsafe dredging.

“The Housing Ministry’s failure to stop the project means the ministry is pushing Boskalis. By the time, the EPA warnings arrive, the damage is already done,” he said.

Minister of Environment and Energy Thoriq Ibrahim told Minivan News the EPA is investigating the case.

According to Maeed, the EPA had said it will impose a fine on Boskalis, but the agency has failed to do so. He called for the EPA to be removed from the Environment Ministry’s remit and given greater powers as an independent body to prevent violations in the future.

Boskalis began dredging in Meedhoo in March, but the EPA halted the project temporarily for failure to follow procedures recommended in an environmental impact assessment report.

Instead of using pipelines to transport dredged sand to the shore, Bosaklis dredgers propelled sand and salt through the air covering houses and vegetation on the shoreline in debris.

Housing Minister Mohamed Muizz told local media at the time that safety measures would be followed in the future.

However, Boskalis used the same techniques in Baa Atoll Eydhafushi Island, and furthermore, dredged sand from the UNESCO biosphere reserve and transported it to Thulusdhoo Island in Kaafu Atoll for ongoing land reclamation.

Eydhafushi residents spotted a Boskalis dredger carrying sand away from the island this weekend, and raised the issue with the EPA.

Eydhafushi Island Councillor Mohamed Riza said the company had not sought permission from the local government to mine sand from the atoll.

Baa Atoll was declared a biosphere reserve in June 2011. It is the first of it’s kind in the Maldives.

President Abdulla Yameen inaugurated the Thuludhoo reclamation project this morning.


Meedhoo dredging halted for noncompliance with environment regulations

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has stopped dredging in Meedhoo, Dhaalu atoll, after the recently started project failed to take measures to protect its environmental impact.

Director General of the agency Ibrahim Naeem told Minivan News that the project was approved by the agency after completing an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), but that the dredging was carried out against the conditions under which it was approved.

The US$10.8 million government project to have 17.5 hectors of land reclaimed and a 485 metre revetment constructed in Meedhoo is being implemented by Netherlands’ Boskalis International.

It was inaugurated last week by President Abdulla Yameen and is expected to be completed within eighteen months of commencement.

Minister Dr Mohamed Muiz had told local news agency Sun today that the dredging had been halted in order for the vessel to be brought to Malé to repair a pump.

Acknowledging that dirt was sprayed on to the island while dredging, he said that safety measures will be taken in the future.

Minivan News was unable to obtain a response from the Ministry of Housing regarding the issue at the time of press.

According to the EPA, one of the main issues leading to the project’s halting was the failure to build a ‘bund wall’ to contain the excess dredge spoil from spilling into the ocean. Another key issue was using the rainbowing technique – the propulsion of materials through the air in a high arc – instead of using pipelines to take the the sand closer to the land.

“If it is required, action will be taken as per regulations,” Naeem explained.

Local environmental NGO Ecocare which – also looking in to the issue – said the organisation is currently communicating with head office of the Royal Boskalis Westminster in the Netherlands,  who are also “concerned and very much alarmed about the situation”.

“As soon as we got information from the island we informed the authorities and we are communicating with Boskalis as well. It is very sad that such an incident happened,” said Maeed M. Zahir of Ecocare.

“Boskalis has a reputation for implementing their projects in a sustainable and environment friendly manner and follow international standards. They are also investigating the incident,” he added.

He said from the reports and pictures from the area, the failure to take mitigation measures had resulted in a negative impact on the island.

“The whole shoreline vegetation is covered in sea water and sand. It is all white now. In addition to this, trees inland have also been affected by this. Leaves are falling off many trees,” Maeed explained, noting that  people living there have also been directly affected by the incident.

According to Ecocare, rainbowing has left “fine sediments ‘raining’ on rooftops and on the vegetation cover near shore and inland”.

A statement issued today by the NGO said that layers of sedimentation found on some rooftops were 2-3 inches thick, large trees on the shoreline and inland had also been affected and are now drying and dying.

“The implications to the environment are frightening while property both public and private are at risk,” the statement added.

Applauding the swift action taken by the EPA concerning the issue, Maeed expressed concern that such an incident had happened on a government project.

“It is very important for them to monitor such projects even if it has been handed over to a private company,” he said.


Emergency water supplied to Alifushi bacteria infested, says council

The emergency water supplied to Alifushi island contains bacteria and dust, the island’s council has said.

Vice President of the council Ibrahim Shuaib said that, following a water shortage,  the island requested 185 tonnes of drinking water from the government – the capacity of the council’s water tanks.

After the island was  presented with 40 tonnes of water, it was subsequently found to be bacteria infested.

“After we received complaints about the water, we tested a sample from the health center here. They found that there were bacteria and dust in it. So we have asked not to use that water,” Shuaib said.

He said that complaints have officially been filed with the National Disaster Management Center (NDMC) and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

“The EPA asked to send an official letter – we sent that too. But we still haven’t got an answer. Some people are now using that water after boiling,” revealed Shuaib.

Speaking to Vnews NDMC denied the claims, saying that the water was produced at Dhuvaafaru water plant and that no complaints had been received from other islands that had received water from the same plant. Both the EPA and the NDMC are investigating the matter.

With a population of 2700, the council estimates there are approximately 1600 people currently residing on the island. According to the council, the island faces water shortages every year around this time.

Traditionally, Maldivians have depended on groundwater, supplemented by rainwater, for drinking and cleaning. However, the contamination of ground water following the tsunami, and the failure to harvest rainwater, means that water shortages during dry periods are increasingly common.

While every house in capital Malé city is supplied with desalinated water, there are no sustainable systems to supply water on most islands. Water shortages all around the country have become a regular occurrence in the past few years during the dry period – which falls between February and April.

According to the NDMC, during the dry seasons of 2009 and 2010, the Maldivian government supplied desalinated water to over 90 islands at a cost of Rf10 million (US$640,000).

Last year between 3 February and 25 April 2013, some 53 islands reported water shortages to the NDMC. Plans have been underway to find more sustainable solutions to the issue in the past few years.

Minister of State for Environment and Energy Abdul Matheen Mohamed has said that the government was emphasising integrated water management systems in order to make the best use of the resources currently available.

“Our policy is to use the available resources as much as possible,” said Matheen. “Just basically to reduce the water costs.”

Earlier this week he island of Gulhi, in Kaafu atoll, became the first place in the world to produce desalinated drinking water using waste heat from electricity generation.

The project – a joint venture between state electricity supplier STELCO and UK registered charity the Aquiva Foundation – can produce around 8000 litres of water for local consumption.

In January, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development chose the Maldives from amongst 80 applicants to receive concessionary loans worth US$6 million (MVR92 million) for a clean energy project which could produce up to 62 million litres of desalinated water per year.


EPA advises Majlis campaigners not to litter

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has advised all political parties from littering the streets as campaigning for March’s Majlis elections continues.

Assistant Director of EPA Ahmed Murthala told Sun Online that several complaints had been received, adding that the EPA could not currently monitor violations due to staff shortages. The EPA is discussing ways to tackle breaches with the police, Sun was told.

The streets of the capital Malé were frequently strewn with campaign material during last year’s presidential election.

Last week, the city council revealed plans to introduce 200 dustbins as part of new regulations on waste management.

The waste management regulation came into force on February 5 and imposes an MVR100 (US$6.5) for littering and a fine between MVR10,000 (US$ 648.5) – MVR100,000 (US$6,485) if any authority in charge of public spaces fails to place public dustbins.

The regulations also mandate boat owners to place dustbins on sea vessels and imposes a fine between MVR100 million (US$6.5 million) and MVR500 million (US$32.4 million) on boats that dump waste into the ocean.

Murthala told Sun, however, that certain parts of the regulations – including the transportation of exposed waste on bicycles – will be postponed for two months.


WSPA, EPA raise concern over living conditions of 10-foot crocodile in children’s playground

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has stated that the cage used to house a crocodile in Male’ is “entirely inadequate” for an animal of its size.

Locally known as ‘Kinboo’, the crocodile was first captured back in 1998 and was subsequently caged inside a children’s play park for public entertainment.

For the last three years, the animal’s poor living conditions have caught the attention of the media, even sparking a campaign from a local school to save the animal, however nothing has yet been done to resolve the issue.

WSPA’s Wildlife Veterinary Programmes Manager, Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach told Minivan News in a statement that the WSPA encouraged local efforts being made to relocate the crocodile to a more suitable facility.

“It is important to remember that good animal welfare is not only about the physical health of an animal, but also its mental health. As is the case with humans, the environment that an animal is living in can and does affect its mental health.”

“The ideal environment for a wild animal is its wild habitat. Based on the images I have seen, the enclosure [in Male’] is entirely inadequate to meet the needs of a wild crocodile,” Schmidt-Burbach stated.

According to captive crocodile husbandry guidelines, the wildlife expert stated that the enclosure needs to have both shaded and sunlit areas and should be a minimum of 36 square-metres.

“A majority of the enclosure should be covered in water deep enough for the animal to fully submerge itself. I estimate for this crocodile the pool should be at least one metre deep,” he added.

Cage is far too small: EPA

Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency Ibrahim Naeem made similar recommendations to the WSPA in regard to the crocodile, adding that it needs to be kept in an adequate space and is currently living in cage “far too small” for its size.

“We believe that the Maldives lacks in technical and financial capacity regarding the animals kept in captivity. Though the conditions are like that, we believe that these animals must be treated with care and killing is not an option in any case,” Naeem said.

Last year, Minivan News reported that the crocodile was forced to curl its tail to fit inside its roofed cage.

Furthermore, the water within the enclosure barely covered the animal’s stomach – an apparent violation of both international and national laws forbidding animal cruelty.

“The 10-foot crocodile in Male’ is living in a far too small cage for it. We believe that the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has conducted enlargements of the cage several times and hope they will continue to do so,” Naeem added.

The EPA’s comments follow news that a smaller crocodile had been captured by MNDF last month at Helengeli Resort.

MNDF Spokesperson Colonel Abdul Raheem told Minivan News on Thursday (March 14) that there had been “talks” to send the animal abroad, but as of yet nothing had happened.

“I don’t think the cage is big enough, but I have no idea if they are going to increase the size of the cage,” Raheem said.

When asked if the EPA believes the MNDF has adequate facilities and knowledge in keeping crocodiles, the agency’s Director General said that it was in “no position to comment on the capacity of MNDF regarding the crocodile issue.”

Mission to save Kinboo

In 2010, a group of children from Billabong High School in Male’ attempted to save Kinboo from captivity.

Roughly 30 students took part in the ‘mission’ after the crocodile’s living conditions were noticed by the school’s biology teacher, Kate Wilson.

Wilson told Minivan News at the time, that she had been “horrified” by the size of the enclosure and enlisted the help from her students to attempt to save the animal.

Despite getting in touch with an international agency in Australia and producing a video calling for support, the crocodile still remains in the cage three years later.

Last year, Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim claimed that the ministry had planned to send Kinboo abroad to a zoo, replacing the large animal with a “small Kinboo” to keep in the cage instead.

According to the minister, a smaller crocodile will be brought to replace the bigger one because a lot of children enjoy watching the creature in its cage.

“It is useful for educating the children. So we are planning to bring a small Kinboo.” he noted. “When it grows big we will send it off abroad again.”

Following the occasional public calls to have the crocodile released, former governments have made similar suggestions about sending the animal overseas, yet none of these plans have transformed into any action.

Regarding this matter, Naeem said that because the animal had grown so large, the expense of moving such a big animal to a nearby country is very high.

“We had discussions to move the crocodile to a zoo in a neighbouring country, but it was later recommended that since the animal is adjusted to such a condition [of the cage] it minimises its chance of survival in its natural habitat,” Naeem claimed.