Bhubaneswar, Mar 22: Is the animal exchange programme of Nandankanan zoological park beneficial for the zoo ? This question storms the brain of all the wildlife lovers.
The zoo, once the darling of the tourists and wildlife lovers for its proud possession of white tigers and Royal Bengal tigers, is now witnessing the depletion of big cat population. The death of tigers suffering from different ailments haunts the zoo. On the other hand, the myopic tiger exchange policy of the zoo authorities has created the fear of total extinction of the big cats.
On March 17, Nandankanan zoo authorities have spared white tiger Chinu and Royal Bengal tigress Rani to Rajasthan’s Naharghar biological park in lieu of two leopards, a jackal, two gharials and two Cinkara birds.
Apart from the two big cats, a male wild boar,15 pairs of Zebra Frinch birds and 7 pairs of sparrows are being sent from the Nandankanan zoo to its Naharghar counterpart.
This information on the animal exchange deal was given by Assistant Director, Nandan Kanan Zoological Park, Amulya Parida.
The Royal Bengal tigress Rani was totally unwilling to leave the zoo, said a zoo keeper on condition of anonymity. “Finally, she was tranquilised and forced into a cage”, said he with choking voice.
Earlier in October last year, the zoo authorities had procured three wolves, three gharials and two lioness from Indore zoo in exchange of two rhinos and twelve birds.
Similarly, the Nandankanan zoo authorities had spared twelve pheasants and four peacocks to Mizoram zoo in lieu of six stump-tailed macaques, two Assamese monkeys, six grey tortoises, two grey wolves and two Himalayan black bears
However, importing giraffe to the zoo has become a long drawn dream, observed disappointed tourists. Only the hound population is growing in the zoo at the cost of tiger and exotic animals, thanks to the short sighted animal exchange , lamented a frequent visitor to the zoo.