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.”
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.