Mysore zoo will soon be home for three chimpanzees and four bat-eared foxes from Singapore zoo. The Government of India has given its nod for the exchange of animals between the two zoos.

Under the animal exchange programme, Mysore zoo will give one male lion-tailed macaque, two sloth bears and two emus in exchange of two male and one female chimpanzees, and four bat-eared foxes from the Singapore zoo.

Confirming this to The Hindu, Zoo Executive Director B.P. Ravi said here on Tuesday that necessary paperwork for the exchange of animals with Singapore zoo was pending. “We are sending the application to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade to get the permit to receive the animals from Singapore,” he said.

With the intention of taking up captive breeding of chimpanzees here, the zoo sought chimpanzees from the Singapore zoo under the exchange programme. The last exchange of chimpanzees with any other zoo happened way back in 1984, he said.

To make the process of animal exchange programmes a lot more easier, the Mysore zoo has applied for membership of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). “Once the Mysore zoo becomes a WAZA member, exchange of animals with foreign zoos will become much easier,” Mr. Ravi said.

Old chimps

At present, the Mysore zoo houses five chimpanzees that are aged and 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 aged and suffers from a skin disease, and therefore is out of display. The other two chimpanzees are Mason and Mirla. They are housed in an open air fenced enclosure.

Rhinos from Assam

In yet another development, the Assam government has in-principle agreed to translocate two Indian rhinoceros to the Mysore zoo from the Assam zoo in return of two chimpanzees.

At present, there is a male African white rhinoceros, Bhima, at the Mysore zoo. A female African black rhinoceros, Priya, aged around 16, died last year.

Under the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority of India, there is no scope for exchanging single animals and only a pair can be exchanged.

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