| The three Indian gaur at the Patna zoo on Sunday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Next time you visit the zoo, snorts, howls and croons could take you by surprise.
Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park has become the abode of 12 new guests, brought from Mysore zoo under an animal exchange programme. The species — Indian Gaur (3), hyena (2), wolf (2), black swan (3) and sarus crane (2) — would not be put in the enclosures for at least three weeks owing to the acclimatisation exercise. It would help them adapt to their new surroundings and weather conditions. They have been kept under quarantine for now. Patna zoo doctors Shashikant Ajay and Samrendra Bahadur Singh would take care of the new species.
The zoo did not have any Indian gaur, wolf or black swan so far.
Zoo director S. Chandrashekhar said: “These species arrived yesterday (Saturday) from Mysore zoo around 9pm. They started their journey on July 8 and reached Patna in two trucks with Mysore zoo doctor Suresh Kumar. We cannot put the species in the enclosure now. It will take at least three weeks. It could also stretch to three months, as they have been kept under quarantine.”
Under the exchange programme, Patna zoo would give a pair of black rhinos to their Mysore counterparts. “In the second phase of the deal, we would give them two rhinos and get a male giraffe. We have two female giraffes which could lead to a breeding problem,” he said.
After giving a pair of rhinos, Patna zoo would be left with 12 — still the highest number of rhinos in a zoo in the country. At present, there are 14 rhinos (six males and eight females).
Chirps and roars would soon resonate in the zoo. Rs 12 lakh would be spent on installing speakers for the hi-fi sound system. “Work has started and we would get funds in 10 days. Thereafter, tenders would be floated to select the agency. Digital speakers would be used to amplify chirping of birds, sound of lightning and others. It can be used as a public address system in emergency,” said Chandrashekhar.