Three years ago, a pair of hoolock gibbons were seized from a car on the eastern fringes of Kolkata. The animals were taken to the Alipore zoo after the seizure.
On Friday, the gibbons finally got their own corner at the park. An enclosure for hoolock gibbons and an aviary for aquatic birds were inaugurated at the zoo on Friday.
The gibbons had so far been living in an enclosure carved out of the shelter for chimpanzees. They were out of bounds for visitors.
The eastern hoolock gibbon is a protected species under Schedule I of the wildlife act and its conservation status is listed as “vulnerable”.
Found in the forests of the Northeast, the hoolock gibbon, with its long and slender arms, is a swift creature that barely steps on the ground. Mining, infrastructure and industrial developments are eating into its habitat. Poaching is also a threat to this species.
On May 31, 2018, the animals were found inside a car that was to deliver them to a buyer at a location near Science City.
The animals, smuggled into India from across the Bangladesh border, were found in the boot of the car. An aviary for waterbirds like mute swans was also opened at the zoo on Friday.
The zoo also got a couple of ambulances for animals from a corporate organisation.