DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Monday suspended two chief officers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park in the city of Gazipur over the deaths of 11 zebras.

The project director of the safari park, Md Jahidul Kabir, is also in the process of being suspended, according to officials of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

The ministry suspended acting in-charge and assistant forest conservator Tabibur Rahman and the veterinary officer Dr. Hatem Sajjad Md Zulkarnain and attached them with the Forest Department in Dhaka, according to a media statement of the ministry.

The ministry has already appointed new officials to the posts.

The decision was taken in order for an impartial probe to “find possible negligence and if anyone is responsible or involved and to reveal the real cause of death of the zebras at the Safari Park,” the ministry added.

The ministry assured that “it will take all necessary steps to prevent such untoward deaths of the animals by withdrawing all concerned and taking legal action against those responsible.”

“Injuries, bacterial infections, genetic factors, and in one case influenza as the cause of death. The symptoms were common among them,” the ministry report said in an earlier report.

The probe committee of experts by the ministry, however, visited the site and found negligence of duty officials and mismanagement in the safari park.

The committee confirmed nine zebras’ cause of death out of 11 between Jan. 2 and Jan. 29. They said four zebras died in fights among them; five died from bacterial infections.

The expert team also found Streptococcus, E Coli, Cocadium, Salmonella, and Pasteurella in the samples of dead animals.

Meanwhile, the forest department forwarded medical test reports to the authorities of the South African animal farm, from where the zebras were brought to the Bangladeshi safari park.

Inaugurated in 2013, the park is spread over 3,810 acres (1,542 hectares) of Sal forest in the central city of Gazipur and is the largest safari park in Asia and one of the largest in the world.

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