New Delhi: A pair of ostrich, two hyenas, chinkaras and a pair of owl are among the animals to have come to the Delhi zoo from Thiruvananthapuram and Bilaspur zoos.
As a part of the inter-zoo exchange programme, the Delhi Zoo has acquired new animals and birds and sent some of its own, zoo authorities said.
While a pair each of ostrich, hyena, chinkara and owl have already come here, black swans and one male Jaguar are also set to arrive here from Thiruvananthapuram, zoo curator (education) Riyaz Khan said.
The National Zoological Park is also set to get a male rhinoceros from the Kanpur zoo by the end of this month.
The male Rhinoceros to be brought from Kanpur is particularly important for boosting the rhino numbers in the zoo as Shiva, a one-horned male rhino procured from Mumbai last year has been unable to mate and is ageing.
Currently, the Delhi zoo homes 1,556 animals of 110 different species.
These animal exchanges are a routine process necessary to reduce inbreeding among animals and to facilitate blood exchange among species.
"In any zoo, there is largely one particular species, as they breed their offspring subsequently breed among themselves. As a result of inbreeding, there will soon be a stage when animals are closely related therefore, animal exchanges are required," said Dr Rahul Kaul, Chief Ecologist, Wildlife Trust of India.
Animal exchange is also imperative to negate the effect of bad genes which may get amplified and to further the rate of animal survival. However, the animals being exchanged must belong to the same variety of a particular species, he said.
Delhi Zoo is one of the oldest in the country and was established in 1959 under the patronage of Jawaharlal Nehru and attracts a scores of visitors every day.