Karnataka

Mysuru zoo to get four white rhinos from Japan

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This is in exchange for four Asian elephants

The century-old Mysuru zoo has managed to establish an ambitious network with the world’s best-known zoological gardens in the United States, Europe and Australia.

The recently-concluded conference of World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) at New Delhi gave a fitting platform for the zoo authorities to open a channel of communication with the foremost foreign zoos, in its bid to add exotic species to its existing collections.

Even as it is making an earnest bid to fill the void created by the death of Polo, a male gorilla, which passed away this year, establishing a link with the zoos having “surplus” gorillas, it has clinched a deal with a Japanese zoo for enriching its collections with two pairs of white African rhinoceros, an endangered species.

Tohoku Safari Park in Fukushima Prefecture of Japan has reportedly given its consent to give two male and two female rhinos, in exchange for a male and three female Asian elephants. The papers pertaining to the exchange and the proposal had been sent to the Central Zoo Authority for its nod.

Confirming this to The Hindu, Zoo Executive Director B.P. Ravi, who took part in the WAZA conference in New Delhi last month, said, “We had been trying to get white rhinos since many months after death of Bhima, a white African rhino. Somehow, we managed to clinch the deal with the Japanese zoo and only a few formalities were remaining to realise the exchange.”

He said the governing council of Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) had already given its consent for the exchange.

The Chief Conservator of Forest said the zoo was supposed to acquire animals as per the “animal collection plan” approved by the CZA in accordance with the Master Plan-2020.

“Our first priority is to acquire a pair of gorillas. We know it’s tough to get a gorilla pair but we are making an earnest bid. I have spoken to the directors of a couple of zoos in Europe and the U.S. with an appeal to spare a gorilla pair for Mysuru zoo. We have been told that it’s tough to get breeding pairs. We are on the job,” he explained.

Though the Mysuru zoo has maintained its standards and developed infrastructure matching international standards, it needs to upgrade its infrastructure further to match the strengths of the zoos of Europe and the U.S.

Recalling the recent visit of directors of zoos from Brazil, Germany and Czech Republic to Mysuru zoo, ahead of the WAZA conference, Mr. Ravi said, “The director of a foreign zoo said the Mysuru zoo is no less than a European zoo.”

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 9:26:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mysuru-zoo-to-get-four-white-rhinos-from-japan/article6673624.ece

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