Proposed centre 10 km from Mysore will be the biggest in the country

The State government has issued an order for the transfer of 113.21 acres of reserve forest land at Koorgalli village, about 10 km from Mysore, to the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) for setting up the country’s biggest gaur (Indian bison) conservation breeding centre.

The delay in the transfer of land, which was identified a few years ago, had brought the ambitious Centrally funded project to a halt. With the order (issued on July 27), the project is expected to take off in the coming months.

Confirming this, ZAK chairman M. Nanjundaswamy told The Hindu that the authority was waiting for the land to be transferred to it by the Forest Department before it could formally launch work. The Chief Conservator of Forests, Mysore division, has to transfer the land.

Considered a vulnerable species, the gaur is among those listed for conservation breeding.

Sources said Mysore zoo would coordinate the breeding programme once the centre has been set up, as it has the necessary expertise in captive breeding of the animals. Besides, it was home to a large number of gaurs.

“Koorgalli is an ideal location for conducting studies on the endangered species,” said Mr. Nanjundaswamy. He said he and executive director of the zoo B.P. Ravi had visited the proposed site recently. “We are going to retain most of the greenery.”

What next?

ZAK will get grants from the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA) for establishing the gaur breeding centre at Koorgalli.

Mr. Nanjundaswamy said the first priority was to fence the land. Then, the project report would be sent to CZA for approval, and the grants sought.