Ramat Gan Safari Park at Tel Aviv has agreed to give four zebras to the zoo

Ramat Gan Safari Park at Tel Aviv in Israel will gift four zebras to the Mysore zoo.

The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA), New Delhi, has given approval to procure the zebras from Israel, and the Mysore zoo is planning to seek the approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to complete the formalities.

Chief Conservator of Forests and zoo Executive Director B.P. Ravi told The Hindu that the zebra pair that the zoo had was old (the animals are around 23 years) and so the zoo wanted to introduce a new bloodline. “Therefore, we approached the Tel Aviv zoo which agreed to gift two male and two female zebras,” Mr. Ravi said.

The process

Once the MoEF issues a no-objection certificate , the Mysore zoo will apply for permit from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and clearance from the Deputy Director of Wildlife Preservation (Southern region), Chennai, under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

“It may take about two months to complete the formalities. We are pursuing the matter with the respective authorities,” a source said.

Meanwhile, the zoo has sought approval under CITES from the Deputy Director of Wildlife Preservation, Chennai, to bring in two male and one female chimpanzee, and four bat-eared fox from the Singapore zoo under an animal exchange programme for which the CZA had given its approval. “Other than the nod under CITES, all other formalities have been completed,” the source added.

Animal exchange

Under the animal exchange programme, Mysore zoo will give one male lion-tailed macaque, two sloth bears (one male and one female) and two emus (one male and one female) to the Singapore zoo.

The lion-tailed macaque is an endangered species. The Mysore zoo has the responsibility of breeding lion-tailed macaques in captivity, in partnership with Vandaloor Zoo, Chennai.

Recently, a lion-tailed macaque gave birth in a natural environment at the zoo.

The zoo sought chimpanzees from Singapore zoo under the exchange programme to take up captive breeding of chimpanzees here. The last exchange of chimpanzees with any zoo happened way back in 1984.

Five chimps at present

At present, the Mysore zoo houses five chimpanzees that are old and have never bred in captivity. Wali and Ganga are more than 50 years old. Guru, the chimpanzee that was handed over to the zoo after it was rescued from a circus, is also old and is suffering from a skin disease.

The other two chimpanzees are Mason and Mirla. They are housed in an open air fenced enclosure.