Delhi zoo to bring 3 more tigers for breeding purposes; ostrich, chinkara to be added

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (PTI) The Delhi zoo may soon get three tigers from Chennai and Nagpur for 'breeding purposes' under an animal exchange programme, officials said on Saturday.

Director Ramesh Pandey said they have proposed to bring a pair of tigers from the Gorewada zoo in Nagpur, while another male tiger is likely to be brought from Chennai.

A Royal Bengal tigress was brought from Kanpur for breeding proposes in November last year.

The Delhi zoo is a participating zoo for the 'Conservation Breeding Programme' of Bengal Tiger.

According to the Central Zoo Authority, the Conservation Breeding Programme is the science of conserving a species by preventing imminent population collapse in the wild due to a large number of eliminative pressures (such as habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, industrialization, poaching, illegal trade and climate change).

At present, the Delhi zoo has seven tigers, including five white tigers, he said.

'A pair of sloth bear from the Nagpur facility is also on the cards,' the director said. One pair each of ostriches and chinkara has to be brought from Chandigarh this month, Pandey said, adding the number of animal species in the zoo is likely to increase to 93 before it is reopened for public on April 1 after remaining closed for over a year due to coronavirus and bird flu. The Delhi zoo doesn't have a chinkara since July 2019. Chennai may also provide a male ostrich and grey heron to Delhi, Pandey said.

'A proposal has been submitted to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to bring five species from the Visakhapatnam zoo, including star tortoise, dhole (wild dogs) and iguana,' the director said, adding the target is to increase the number of species to 100 by the end of this financial year.

At present, the Delhi zoo has 88 species of animals, up from 83 in March last year.

The administration is also in the process to bring bar-headed goose and godwit from Rohtak.

Recently, the Delhi zoo got a male sloth bear from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, and a pair of striped hyenas. Pandey also said around 2,000 visitors a day will be allowed in two shifts of four hours each.

Tickets can be booked online only, as there will be no counters, he added. PTI GVS TDS TDS

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