Mysore zoo to have a few exotic species soon

Newborn: A sloth bear with its cub at the Mysore zoo.

Newborn: A sloth bear with its cub at the Mysore zoo.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Shankar Bennur

Exchange of animals with zoos in Singapore and the Czech Republic approved

Zoo Zlin to give lemurs, wallabys among others

Singapore Zoo to give South African wild dogs, mir cats

MYSORE: The century-old Mysore zoo has succeeded in its efforts to procure exotic species of animals and birds from the zoos abroad with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MEoF) reportedly giving its consent for its exchange programme. Accordingly, the zoo will exchange animals and birds with the prestigious Singapore Zoo and Zoo Zlin in the Czech Republic.

The last exchange of animals by the zoo with a foreign zoo was in 1996. Since then, the zoo did not achieve success despite submitting several proposals to enrich its collection.

The “never quitting attitude” of one of the oldest and biggest zoos in the country finally paid off with the Union Ministry giving its approval for exporting and importing animals and birds.

With this, the zoo authorities are making efforts to obtain permission from the agencies concerned.

In a few weeks, those visiting the zoo may see some rare and endangered species of animals and birds from Singapore and the Czech Republic.

Sources in the zoo told The Hindu that the Union Ministry had given its approval for the exchange programme. The zoo had been awaiting the Union Ministry’s approval for long after its proposal was cleared by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).

The zoo would soon approach the Director General of Foreign Trade for export and import licence for the same, the sources said.

“It may take sometime to get the Director General’s approval, but the decks have been cleared. The way is smooth for exchange of animals. The zoo may get import duty exemption as no money transaction is involved in the exchange of animals and birds with the foreign zoos,” the sources said.

They said the Mysore zoo would exchange 10 spot-billed pelicans for two pairs of ring-tailed lemurs, a pair of red-necked wallabys, two pairs of military macaws, a pair of female lesser rheas and a pair of capuchin monkeys with Zoo Zlin. “We have sought three male and one female South African wild dogs and a female and two male Mir cats from the Singapore Zoo for a pair of sloth bears,” they said.

The Mysore zoo had been in the forefront of exchanging animals with several zoos abroad. Owing to the delay in getting approvals from the agencies concerned for various reasons, the exchange programme suffered a setback. Without giving up its efforts, the zoo exchanged animals and birds with some zoos in the country that had surplus stocks of some exotic species of animals, the sources said. Not all the Indian zoos were able to attract the attention of foreign zoos. The Mysore zoo could do so because of its best infrastructure and successful captive breeding programmes, they said.

“Many foreign zoos have come forward to exchange their animals for some indigenous species. The infrastructure at the zoo for display of animals has inspired the foreign zoos to exchange their species,” they said.

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