MANGALURU: Pilikula Biological Park at the Dr Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama on Tuesday welcomed various animals including the endangered gaurs (Indian bison). Spread over 82 acres, the park is now home to 130 different species of animals. Park authorities make every effort to ensure there is an exchange of animals under the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) administrated animal exchange programme.
H Jayaprakash Bhandary, director, Pilikula Biological Park said the park under a CZA approved programme, received a pair of gaurs from Arignar Anna Zoological Park, also known as Vandalur Zoo, Chennai. The Vandalur Zoo authorities also sent 10 pairs of a painted stork, 12-night herons and three pairs of reticulated pythons. In return, Pilikula Zoo sent two pairs of king cobras, Whitaker’s boa and wolf snake to Vandalur Zoo.
The gaur is listed as an endangered animal under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, Bhandary said. Noting that their numbers are consistently dwindling, Bhandary said gaurs of late are seen in villages, far away from their natural habitat in the deep jungle. With watering sources and fodder now getting scarce in their habitats, gaurs venture outside in search of food, he said, adding a harsh summer could only increase their urban migration.
The reticulated python is considered the world’s longest non-venomous snake and is found in the Nicobar island, which has been traded with Vandalur Zoo. Pilikula Biological Park recognised by CZA as a major zoo has a thriving reptile population as well as India’s first scientific captive breeding of king cobras. The park tasted success with this programme in August 2011 when 32 out of 147 eggs laid by a female king cobra hatched.