In an incident that exposed the shabby conditions of the Kanpur zoo, 31 deer including some endangered black bucks died there on Saturday night when a pack of dogs used cracks in the outer wall to barge into the deer enclosure and attack the antelopes.
When the dogs attacked some of the deer, the panic-stricken animals ran helter-skelter, crashing into each other.
By Sunday morning, the dogs were feeding on corpses of the animals, which woke the zoo authorities from their slumber.
When the news broke out, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ordered immediate suspension of zoo director Praveen Rao and five other employees for utter neglect and dereliction of duty.
According to an official spokesman, an inquiry has been set up to find out how stray dogs managed to get inside the deer cage of the zoo.
Preliminary investigations had revealed that the wall had developed cracks and even broken down in certain spots, allowing free access to stray dogs. Even though the wall was in a dilapidated condition for the past several months, no effort was made by the zoo authorities to start the repair work.
Zoo director Rao has blamed the delay in repairs to the dearth of funds.