Delhi Zoo draws up plan to acquire 500 new animals



New Delhi: Delhi Zoo authorities have drawn up an ambitious plan under which around 500 new animals including some exotic species will be acquired from various countries in the next few years.

Zoo Curator Riyaz Khan said the authorities have plans to increase the number of animals to 2,000 from the current 1,550.

"We have decided to bring ostriches, kangaroos and zebras from Australia and South Africa in the first phase of the plan," he said.

The zoo is also in the process of acquiring a pair of pumas from Russia.

Apart from foreign countries, the zoo has also been acquiring new animals from within the country. Khan said shortly the zoo will get a pair Indian hyenas, chausinghas and foxes from Bilaspur.

"We already have the required infrastructure to keep animals from Africa and Australia. We just require the necessary clearances," said Khan.

The zoo has already acquired a pair of wild foxes from the Bilaspur Zoo in exchange for an adult hippopotamus and four emus.

"We have been negotiating with the zoo in Bilaspur to help us get the Indian hyenas and they will be here soon once all the formalities and required quarantine checks are done by the Central Zoo Authority," he said.

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in India is the governing body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests which looks after functioning of all zoological gardens in the country. Various acquisitions made by zoos have to be approved by CZA.

Khan said these acquisitions are a part of the expansion process the zoo is planning.

"We want to take up the species count from 110 to 200 and number of animals from 1552 to 2000 under the master plan".

He said that in the past few years the zoo brought a number of rare and exotic animals including African lions and elephants.

Delhi Zoo is one of the oldest in the country and was established in 1959 under the patronage of Jawaharlal Nehru. The zoo attracts around 10,000 visitors including foreigners on weekends and holidays while on weekdays around 3,000 to 4,000 people visit the park.

PTI