Cops issue Divali fireworks warning

OFFICIALS at ­Emperor Valley Zoo, Port of Spain, lamented that this year’s Independence Day fireworks were “significantly louder than previous years”.

President of the Zoo­logical Society of Trinidad and Tobago Gupte Lutchmedial confirmed this yesterday, stating he felt helpless as the newly arrived kangaroos were seen nervously hopping around their cages, even after the fireworks had ended.

“It was really a traumatic half an hour at the zoo, and even today (yesterday) we were contemplating closing the zoo for the animals to get a rest this morning as they were still a little traumatised, but we decided to open because it was the last days of holidays for the children,” he said.

He said: “Our birds were fluttering whole night and some even lost their feathers, and the kangaroos were galloping around for almost half an hour after the fireworks had ended, and I feel ­really guilty bringing them in ­because, yes, we are bringing in animals who were tempered and hand-raised but nothing could have prepared them for this noise last night.”


The Red Kangaroos at the Emperor Valley Zoo

He said prior to Saturday’s military parade, the zoo was told by the Regiment what time their cannons would go off and zoo staff were able to prepare the animals for this.

Lutchmedial said, however, he was impressed by retired cricket star Brian Lara, who hosted an event at his home nearby on Saturday night but personally checked in on the zoo to ensure the music was not too loud.

“That was magnani­mous of him,” said Lutchmedial.


A 41-year-old woman who has been detained following the killing of the chairman of Maritime General and Fidelity Finance, 74-year-old John Henry Smith, has been sent for psychiatric evaluation.

The woman, the Express was told, had been observed making “questionable utterances” and after consultation with their legal team, a decision was made by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) to send the woman to the St Ann’s Hospital for evaluation.

Under an umbrella, Steven Bisso sits for hours in the sweltering heat roadside at Digity Village in Debe, hoping to earn enough money to feed his siblings and an ailing mother.

An overturned barrel serves as a table on which the 23-year-old has displayed a pumpkin or two, harvested from the nearby family garden.

On a good day he says, he can make $50 from passing customers which he uses to purchase groceries and toiletries for his family of 12.

Local musician Anil Soogrim from the band Dil-E-Nadan has died.

Band member Rennie Ramnarine, who has also had his medical issues due to end-stage kidney failure, told the Express yesterday that Soogrim was a person he could always count on.

The two shared a 30-year friendship in music and travelling the world doing different shows.

Thirty-one-year-old Gregory Taylor, of Production Drive, Sea Lots, drowned on Saturday night.

Police were told that Taylor was part of a group of men who had been employed to help repair a vessel that was sinking in the waters off Sea Lots.

Around 7.35 p.m., Taylor was part of the group who opted to swim back to shore, after completing one of the tasks of the day.

Taxpayers have forked out close to $4 million in legal fees in the matter of Vertical Aviation LLC and the lease of the Sikorsky S76D helicopter by the former government.

Vertical Aviation had claimed the Government failed to satisfy its obligations under the lease by not paying rent and interest due for late rent payments, failed to replenish the security deposit after the aviation company applied the deposit funds to late rent payments, failed to enrol the aircraft in a tip-to-tail maintenance programme and did not maintain insurance for the aircraft.

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