She offers a pair of Indian gaur to Assam government

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has asked her Assam counterpart to spare a pair of Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros for the zoo in Vandalur.

In her letter to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday, she also offered a pair of Indian gaur in exchange.

Ms. Jayalalithaa, who is also Chairperson of the Zoo Authority of Tamil Nadu, said the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros was part of the collection at Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur from 1985 to 1989. The animal died in 1989.

Noting that the zoo was the largest in the country and one of the biggest ones in South-East Asia, the Chief Minister said its collection was made up of 1,400 individual animals consisting of 143 species.

Considering the number of visitors to the zoo – over two million annually – and the popularity of the Indian rhinoceros it would be very fitting if Vandalur Zoo could once again have these animals.

The zoo was categorised as a “large zoo” based on species diversity, number of endangered species and area. “We have sufficient numbers of Indian gaur, which we can give in exchange to the Government of Assam. The Indian gaur is one of our flagship species,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said in the letter.