Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Katraj Zoo will soon have some roaring presence.

Zoo authorities in talks with Junagarh counterparts to introduce at least 10 purebred Asiatic lions in their fold
Tanaji Khot
Posted On Friday, August 05, 2011 at 01:43:08 AM

TAhe Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, popularly known as Katraj Zoo, will soon have some roaring amidst other animal sounds to greet visitors, if everything goes as planned.

The zoo authorities are planning to bring in as many as 10 pure-bred Asiatic lions from the Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagarh, Gujarat, as part of an exchange programme. Once that happens, visitors will get to see a lion in the zoo after a gap of two decades. 

Rajkumar Jadhav, deputy garden superintendent and zoo director, told Mirror, “The inclusion of the lions is the next important development in the zoo. The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has approved our plan to include 16 species of animals in the zoo, including the lions.”

Jadhav had, on Monday, made a presentation of the detailed plan for expansion of Katraj zoo before CZA in New Delhi.

The plan was approved after minor changes in the report. The plan provides for at least 10 lions in the zoo. Jadhav said, “We are going to start making enclosures for the lions as early as possible. Once the enclosures are ready, Katraj Zoo will approach zoos where pure breeds of Asiatic lions are available.”

Besides lions, lesser cats like leopards and other animals like hyenas will also be added to the zoo.

The Sakkarbaug Zoo has the largest concentration of pure-bred Asiatic lions — forty members. Katraj Zoo has allotted 4,900 square metre space for lions’ enclosure. 

The Sakkarbaug Zoo has a captive breeding programme in place for pure-bred Asiatic lions. This species of lions is highly endangered and these animals are found in Gir forest and surrounding areas in Gujarat.

The  last and only lioness in Pune was kept in Peshwe park. She died around 20 years ago. This lioness was treated by a Jalgaon-based doctor V G Purnapatre and was handed over to Peshwe Park.

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