HYDERABAD: Do you want to see a cheetah, the fastest animal on the planet? In a fortnight from now, you can see not one but four at the Nehru Zoological Park itself. Under an animal exchange programme, the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic has made all arrangements to gift four Cheetahs to the Nehru Zoological Park, which has never played host to this animal in the last 50 years.
“We received a mail from the officials of the Dvur Kralove Zoo on Thursday informing us that they were sending four cheetahs aged between five and seven.
They will reach the zoo on Feb 17th morning,” K Shekar Reddy, in-charge curator, Nehru Zoo, told City Express.
The zoo park will be the second in the country after Mysore to get cheetahs.
The Mysore zoo had got a pair of cheetahs from Germany just five months back. Under the animal exchange programme, the Nehru Zoological Park will gift a pair of Asiatic lions and five female Gharial crocodiles to the Dvur Kralove Zoo in return for the four cheetahs. “We were also informed in the mail that we need not send the Asiatic lions and five female Gharial crocodiles immediately.
They said they will get back to us after a couple of months and inform us when to send the animals as they need to take their weather conditions into consideration,” Reddy said.
The four cheetahs will be flown in to Shamshabad from where the officials will bring them to the zoo. “The Dvur Kralove Zoo will bear all the expenses.
When we send our animals, we have to bear the travel expenses,” the incharge curator said. The officials have kept a modernised enclosure ready for the cheetahs.
However, the public will not get an opportunity to see them for at least a week.
Reddy said they were trying to rope in either Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy or Environment and Forests Minister S Vijayaramaraju to formally open the enclosure. The agreement between the two zoos is the result of protracted negotiations spanning almost seven months.
After bringing the cheetahs, a captive breeding programme would be conducted.
The felines are African cheetahs bred in the Czech zoo. “Indian cheetahs almost died out more than five decades ago and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology had even proposed an initiative to clone and revive them but the proposal is yet to take off,” Mallikarjuna Rao, Director of AP Zoos, said