Bhopal: Van Vihar And Vizag Zoo Agree To Animal Exchange Programme

Bhopal: Van Vihar And Vizag Zoo Agree To Animal Exchange Programme

Van Vihar had sent the proposal to the CZA about two to three months ago.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Thursday, November 23, 2023, 11:07 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Van Vihar National Park and Visakhapatnam Zoo have agreed in principle for an animal exchange programme.

They are now awaiting final permission from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA). After getting the permission, Bhopalites would be able to see some new guests at Van Vihar.

Van Vihar had sent the proposal to the CZA about two to three months ago. Under the project, Van Vihar will provide two tigers and two leopards to Visakhapatnam Zoo and in return, Visakhapatnam Zoo will give two bison, two wolves, two hyenas and two wild cats to Van Vihar. These rare species would add to the wild animal count of Van Vihar and would be a matter of delight for the visitors.

Anticipating permission from the CZA, Van Vihar authorities have started construction of enclosures, which are in an advanced stage.

Sources said that earlier, the Van Vihar National Park authorities tried to have an animal exchange programme with Goa Zoo. Under this programme, the officials were mulling to give sloth bear to Goa Zoo and in exchange, they were focusing on getting bison. “The Goa Zoo officials visited Van Vihar, but were not interested in getting a sloth bear. That’s why this initiative failed to bear the fruits."

It was learnt that most of the sloth bears at Van Vihar were rescued from jugglers from different parts of the state. They are either old (almost 20 years old) or suffering from tuberculosis. The number of wild bears is also very low.

As far as the issue of giving a pair of tigers to Visakhapatnam Zoo is concerned, then Van Vihar has a good number of tigers. It has at least 15 to 16 tigers. Apart from this, Van Vihar has 13 leopards. Hence, the animal exchange programme will not affect the number of tigers and leopards in Van Vihar. "Most of the tigers were rescued from the jungle or were man eaters,” an officer said.

Van Vihar National Park field director Padmapriya Balakrishnan said, "We hope to get new animals in Van Vihar under the animal exchange programme with Visakhapatnam Zoo. We are waiting for permission from the CZA."

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