Chhatbir to barter animals with Delhi zoo
12 May 2009, 0556 hrs IST, Manveer Saini, TNN
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CHANDIGARH: In the first initiative of its kind to cut down on mortality rate due to inbreeding, Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological park Chhatbir is all set to exchange animals with a Delhi zoo.
With the objective of changing bloodlines for healthy breeding, Chhatbir zoo will get a pair of white tigers, a pair of Manipuri deer and a jaguar. These carnivores and herbivores will come in lieu of two pairs of budgerigars, two male khaleef pheasants and two male barking deer.
Notably, this kind of exchange comes after Chhatbir zoo has suffered major losses in terms of white tigers, Royal Bengal tigers and its pride of lion safari.
Zoo officials said the first dispatch of animals from Delhi will arrive by next week, following which the zoo will send birds and herbivores for exchange. These proposals were cleared by wildlife department on Monday.
‘In fact, this is all on advice of central zoo authority of India (CZAI) for healthy and safe breeding of animals. Depending upon the climatic conditions and ambience, all zoological parks have their own strengths in terms of animals and their quality. Since we have successfully bred tigers here, we wanted to change bloodlines further. Hence, we exchanged these with birds and other herbivores we have,’ zoo director Dharminder Sharma said.
‘So far as jaguar is concerned, we have a female and Delhi zoo will give us a healthy male in lieu of barking deer. We have a good number of barking deer in our safari,’ added Sharma.
It is pertinent to mention that inbreeding has resulted in heavy casualty of lions in the lion safari of the zoological park. Once considered the pride of zoological parks in late 90s, the zoo safari is now reduced to a home of sick and weak lions.
Passing away of Gullu, the white tiger cub, of Saurabh and Diya, the white tiger pair and of three Royal Bengal tigers is a fallout of this disturbing phenomenon.