Hyderabad: Lacones, a laboratory for the conservation of endangered species, was opened at the Nehru Zoological Park here on Saturday marking the celebration of the 54th wildlife week. The project aims at biotechnological intervention to prevent extinction of endangered animals.
A male panther, Shankar, from the Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, Tirupathi, was released into the animal holding facility at the zoo by Minister for Energy and Coal, Mohd Ali Shabbir.
The facility is set up jointly by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Department of Biotechnology, Central Zoo Authority of India and the A.P. Forest Department. As part of the project research will be done on three female and two male panthers for standardising the techniques for artificial insemination. B.C. Welfare Minister, Mukesh Gowd and Charminar MLA, Syed Ahmed Pasha Qadri, were also present on the occasion.
The project is taken up in view of the sharp drop in the population of tigers and panthers in the wild.
Destruction of forest areas and fragmentation of habitats of wild animals has put their very survival at stake, informed Hitesh Malhotra, principal chief conservator of Forests.
Later addressing the ‘Vanyaprani Saptah’ celebrations, Mr. Shabbir said the State government was keen on protection of endangered animal species so that the posterity was not deprived from witnessing them. He congratulated the Zoo authorities on setting up the laboratory facility. The Minister wanted awareness to be created about protection of wild animals during the wild life week.