Darjeeling, 19 Feb 2014: As part of an expertise exchange and sharing programme, the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park of Darjeeling will gift captive-bred red pandas, blue sheep and pheasants to its Delhi, Nainital, Sikkim and Jhargram counterparts.
The PNHZP, commonly known as Darjeeling zoo, will give blue sheep, ghoral and golden pheasants in pairs to the Gangtok zoo in exchange of a female red panda. The Delhi zoo will receive golden, silver and lady Amherst pheasants, also in pairs, along with a pair of langurs.
Meanwhile, the Nainital zoo, which is being promoted as a new centre for breeding of the red panda apart from the Darjeeling and Gangtok zoos, will receive a red panda and blue sheep pair. Besides, the Darjeeling zoo will provide technical expertise.
PNHZP director Alankar Kumar Jha said, “The exchange programme is part of the expertise sharing exercise on breeding of endangered animals among various zoos of the country. We conduct such programmes every year.”
Commenting on the animals being gifted to the Delhi zoo, Jha referred to the World Aquarium and Zoo Associations (WAZA) conference scheduled this November in the national capital.
“Stocks of endangered animals in the Delhi zoo are minimal and with the WAZA conference upcoming, it is crucial to present a positive picture amid a global audience,” noted the director.
Nearly 80 per cent of animals and birds at the PNHZP fall under the endangered list (Schedule I), and the zoo has successfully bred the red panda, snow leopard, Tibetan wolf and blue sheep.
The Jhargram zoo will also receive a pair each of kaleej pheasants and red jungle fowl from Darjeeling.
“Another reason for gifting animals to other zoos is the concern for their mortality. Our space is small while animals are increasing. We do not want the animals to feel congested and cramped for space. Therefore, it is better to shift them to other centres,” said Jha, adding the exchange will be completed within this month.
The Darjeeling zoo has set up captive breeding centres for the blue sheep, snow leopard and satyr tragopans at Topgey Dara in 3rd Mile, 19km from Darjeeling town, while another centre was set up in Dow Hill in Kurseong last year. (EOIC)
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