RAJIV Gandhi Zoological Park, Katraj, situated on the outskirts of Pune city, will have two guests in the near future — African species Giraffe and Zebra. This is for the first time in Maharashtra as well in Central India that two pairs of these exotic species will come.
The park authorities had submitted a proposal to Central Zoo Authority (CZA), Delhi, requesting for these exotic species. The CZA recently approved the proposal under animal collection plan while it is being examined by Wildlife Crime Control Board and the Veterinary Department, Delhi. Moreover, the foreign trading formalities as per Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) would also be completed. Giraffe and zebra pairs are expected to arrive at Katraj zoo by the year end.
This was disclosed by S S Dole, Member-Secretary, Maharashtra Zoo Authority (MZA), Nagpur, which plays a role of facilitator, while talking to ‘The Hitavada’ here on Saturday. He said that male and female giraffe and zebra would be brought from Africa to Pune, after completion of formalities.
“Veterinary doctors in Africa would examine the animals and issue fitness certificate before sending them to India. After reaching Pune, the pairs would not be directly sent to the zoo but kept under observation at a quarantine place for around two months to check whether they carry any disease,” said Dole.
Dole said, the basic purpose is to provide information about giraffe and zebra to students. These animals live in free range and hence the enclosures at the zoo would be modified as per the guidelines and developed like natural habitat.
There are nine zoos and four rescue centres in Maharashtra. The zoo directors submit management plans and then MZA decides on the existing structures and modifications to be made. MZA prepares vision document and deals with technical issues like procurement of animals, health check-up of existing animals etc. It then recommends to CZA that gives final approval. The planning is done every year to suite the changing situation.
Dole said, the plan for animal collection has to be approved by CZA. As per the norms, there should not be more than ten per cent exotic species in the park.
MZA also looks after exchange of animals programme by sending males and females elsewhere to avoid inbreeding. If the number of animals is excess in a zoo then MZA makes a process to soft release the animals in free range (wild). “Maharajbag zoo in the city has not sufficient space to introduce exotic species,” Dole pointed out.
Date : 20-May-2018