Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Nepal’s zoological society


Now, kids, listen up. Quiet I said. Today's field trip is to the zoo. There is nowhere to wee-wee inside so anyone who needs to go to the bathroom raise your hand. Ok, you two run along. Kumar, are you quite finished there inside the rhino enclosure?

It is befitting for a land where the Lord of the Animals is the patron deity that we take young school children to the zoo in order to instill in them a healthy respect for the four-legged friends who command this country's destiny. In fact, Nepal is one of the few kingdoms in the Intergalactic Federation besides the renegade Planet Voth where sovereignty actually rests in the hands of a mythical being.

As many of you may know, Jawalakhel Zoo has been going through a major upgrade and recently added endemic species to its list of exhibits to make it more representative of Nepal's astounding biodiversity. Here is a quick rundown of the new specimens we saw on our fieldtrip today:

White Elephant
Several of these ailing public sector corporations can be seen in the Rare Pachyderm section although the zoo administration says they may have to be transferred soon to the Dinosaur Display.

Snake Pit
This is a prime attraction because many of the creepy crawly denizens here have been extricated straight from the corridors of power and feel perfectly at home among other venomous reptiles, nocturnal borrowers and perfectly willing defaulters.

This latest attraction houses leaders fishing for compliments and sychophants from Sukla Phanta wetlands. Inmates tend to gravitate in large schools towards whoever is doing the feeding.

Wild Bore
Some of these swines from the jumbo cabinet who escaped from the Ministry of Jungles in Singha Darbar and were later darted and translocated are now in permanent display at Jawalakhel. But even here they can put all visitors within a 25 metre radius to sleep unless they are wearing protective ear plugs. Approach with extreme caution.

Mountain Guerrilla
Captured simians who believe in a pheasant revolution are kept in this maximum security section. This endangered species has become extinct in its native China because of habitat destruction other remnant populations are endemic to the Peruvian altiplano, rural India and the highlands of Luzon where their numbers are in decline because the species is known to devour its own children.

The king of the animals is often seen pacing in his lair and muttering "Hakuna Matata" under his whiskers. He knows he is at the top of the food chain and his hangers-on, who tend to be hyenas, jackals and red pandas, seem to know it as well.

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
These fellows used to hang out in parliament but since that wildlife reserve was dissolved five years ago, all inmates were moved to temporary pastures where their barks are now worse than their bites.

Sloth Bear
Known for lazing around in the fourth estate, these large and lethargic creatures have a herd mentality preferring to spend the day muckraking and waiting for press releases preferably with free lunches. Often seen licking the behinds of Wild Bores and scratching each other's backs.

That's it for today kids, be careful it's a jungle out there. Kumar, stop monkeying around with the monkeys.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)