HYDERABAD: There is a new addition to the Nehru Zoological Park family. Three Cheetahs from the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic arrived on an Emirates flight to the Shamshabad airport on Thursday morning. The Dvur Kralove Zoo was supposed to send two pairs of the felines but one female Cheetah couldn’t be flown in as it’s carrying, zoo officials said.
The three animals were transported in special vehicles from the airport to the zoo and kept in a designated quarantine enclosure. The general public will get an opportunity to see them only after a month. One is a female cheetah aged two, the other two are males, both aged eight. Hitesh Malhotra, principal chief conservator of forests and SV Kumar, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) visited the zoo to have a look at the new arrivals. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is likely to inaugurate the Cheetahs’ enclosure next month.
This is the first time in almost half-a-century that the Hyderabad zoo is hosting Cheetahs. A visibly elated Mallikarjuna Rao, Director of AP Zoological Parks, told City Express that more pleasant surprises are in the offing for animal lovers in the city.
According to him, the Nehru Zoological Park has asked the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to get two pairs of Kangaroos from Australia or any other zoo in the world under the animal exchange programme. “About 10 months ago, we asked the CZA to get two pairs of Cheetahs and two pairs of Kangaroos for the Nehru zoological Park under the animal exchange programme, and we were given the nod to first get two pairs of Cheetahs,” he said adding, “now that we have got the Cheetahs, we have reminded the CZA about the two pairs of Kangaroos.”
He further said they would send a formal mail to the CZA to make arrangements for getting two pairs of Kangaroos in three months. “We will forward the same mail to the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Director General of Foreign Trade because they are also part of the animal exchange programme,” he informed.
But will Kangaroos survive in our environment? K Shaker Reddy, in-charge curator of the Nehru Zoological Park, explained, “Yes, Kangaroos can survive in India as the temperature here is medium compared to the cold and hot countries in the world. Hyderabad climate is suitable for the Kangaroos.”
If indeed the Kangaroos arrive, the city zoo will be the second in the country to house the Australian specials. The Alipore Zoological Garden in Kolkata got four Kangaroos, two males and two females, in June last year from the Czech Republic. Of those, a male Kangaroo died in August last year. Another died in December after contracting lung infection, and a two-year-old male Kangaroo also died of lung infection last week. Only a female Kangaroo has been able to survive.