Come April 10 and the Thiruvananthapuram zoo would, in all likelihood, be home to seven Anacondas being brought over from the Dehiwala zoo in Sri Lanka.
The snakes would be flown in as cargo from Sri Lanka to Chennai on April 9 where officials from the Animal Quarantine Centre-Southern Region would inspect them. The health certificate of these snakes was received at the city zoo on April 4, the zoo vet Jacob Alexander told The Hindu.
The Anancondas would set off on the last leg of their journey on April 9 itself in a specially designed truck. “The air-conditioned truck would be completely sealed and would be impervious to any outside influence including that of insects or pests. No effluent would go out from the truck. A team from the zoo, possibly led by the director, would go to Chennai to bring the snakes over,” he explained. The snakes are being brought by road because they would be put through stress, particularly during take off and landing, in the smaller aircraft that fly on the Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram route.
Once at Thiruvananthapuram the Anacondas—one male, aged two, and six females, all aged three—would be placed in the quarantine cages that have been readied; this would last at least a month. Later, they would be put on display. Zoo officials said they believed the snakes were captive bred in Sri Lanka had adapted to hot and humid weather and that they would not have any acclimatisation issues here.
The zoo is yet to ready the display cages for the anacondas. Once it receives governmental sanction, the zoo will also ink a ‘twinning pact’ with the Dehiwala zoo for an animal keeper exchange and training programme. The Sri Lankan zoo is also looking to re-populate itself with animals such as the Indian Gaur.
Animals from Delhi zoo
The two trucks that have set out to the Delhi zoo to bring back a clutch of animals have already passed Karnataka.
Scheduled to be brought over are five Nilgai, three Barking Deer, two albino Black Buck, five Painted Stork, five White Ibis, and two pairs of Red Jungle Fowl.
The city zoo has already handed over a pair of Ostrich, three Bonnet Macaques, two Black Swan, two Golden Pheasant, three Brahminy Kites, and four Brown Fish Owls to the Delhi zoo. In addition to this, a male Jaguar will be given to Delhi as a breeding loan. If and when, after successful mating, two cubs are born, the male along with one cub will be returned to the Thiruvananthapuram zoo.
The Jaguar will be flown to Delhi in the same cage in which a white tiger is scheduled to be brought here by the end of April.
“The new enclosure for the albino bucks is ready and minor alterations are being made to other enclosures to make them ready to receive the other animals,” Dr. Alexander added.