BANGALORE: Citing the reason of ‘space constraint’, the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) has ruled out acquisition of new animals for the century-old Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. Situated on a sprawling 86-acre site on the way to Chamundi Hills, the zoo is almost full, with several types of birds and animals.
In this backdrop, the next destination for the expansion with the addition of more rare animals is obviously Bannerghatta Biological Park and Zoo near Bangalore, which has nearly 2,250 acres of area falling under three districts. “Our endeavour is to improve Bannerghatta Zoo and develop it on the lines of Mysore Zoo,” said ZAK Chairman Nanjundaswamy.
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has laid down a few guidelines on the number of animals and birds in every zoo in accordance with the land available. Accordingly, now there is absolutely no space in Mysore Zoo to build any new enclosure for the animals acquired via animal exchange programmes. The CZA is certainly not in favour of dumping animals in a small space.
Evaluating Day Crawl
Nanjundaswamy said a team of experts from the CZA would be visiting the Mysore Zoo on Monday for evaluating day crawl for tigers in the zoo. This has been introduced three months ago, and the team will be making observation on its progress.
Now the focus is on finding out partners for animals living in solitude. For instance, a female zebra has been living alone after her partner died of some disease. There are similar cases of an African Elephant and a Gorilla. The responsibility of finding partners for such animals has now fallen on the shoulders of the ZAK.
Nanjundaswamy said Bannerghatta Biological Park had the distinction of having 46 tigers — a record among the Indian zoos. All these years, the ZAK and the state government focused on the development of Mysore Zoo. Earlier, the Mysore zoo was situated on the outskirts of the city, but now it is surrounded by residential areas on three sides. This situation left no scope for its further expansion, he added.
Nanjundaswamy said the ZAK had sought the assistance of former Indian Cricketer and vice-chairman of the State Wildlife Board Anil Kumble to request Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to spare a couple of Indian Black Rhinos from the Sanjay Gandhi Zoo, Patna. The ZAK had written a letter to Kumble on this. “I am optimistic that Nitish Kumar will certainly heed Kumble’s request. The Mysore Zoo could get Asiatic Lion from Gujarat only after Kumble spoke to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi,” he added.