Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday requested her Assam counterpart Tarun Gogoi to spare a pair of greater one-horned rhinoceroses in exchange for one pair of Indian gaur from the Arignar Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur.
In a letter to Gogoi the Chief Minister, who is also the chairperson of the Zoo Authority of Tamil Nadu, said the greater one-horned rhinoceros in Vandalur Zoo died in 1989, since when there had been no representative of this magnificent animal in this zoo.
Stating that considering the number of visitors to the zoo and the popularity of the Indian rhinoceros it would be fitting if the Vandalur Zoo could once again have this animal in its collection, Jayalalithaa said, “We have a sufficient number of Indian gaur, which we can give in exchange to the Assam government. The Indian gaur is one of our flagship species.”
The Chief Minister also observed that Vandalur Zoo has been categorised as a ‘large zoo’ based on species diversity, number of endangered species and area.
Further, the zoo is known for following modern captive animal management principles in its day-to-day administration. The zoo has in its collection, 1,400 individual animals comprising 143 species.