June 15: The Centres decision to ban exchange of animals with foreign zoos has hit the city zoo hard.
The Centre has decided not to allow zoos of the country to exchange animals with foreign zoos as it is opposed to the practice of some foreign zoos gifting animals, a zoo official said. This means that the already-delayed animal exchange programme with Thailand zoo will now be delayed for an indefinite period.
Under the programme, the zoo would have been getting chimpanzees, binturongs, clouded leopards and orangutans from Thailand on exchange for a rhino.
This is a decision taken by the Centre and we cannot say anything. But we hope that this will not be on for a long time. The Centre will understand the necessity of having animal exchange programmes to improve breeding and conservation activities of different zoos, the official said.
The state zoo had also reached an agreement with the Singapore zoo to have an animal exchange programme. This will also be a casualty. The ban has come at a time when the zoo had started its ambitious masterplan to improve infrastructure and increase the number of rare animals for conservation purposes and to attract more visitors, an official said.