Zoo field director M Sudhagar said Akshat (lion), Drithi (lioness) and Gauri (white tigress) have been added to the zoo family.
Sudhagar said that under the animal exchange programme, which was initiated by Chhatbir Zoo in January, 2018, with Rajkot zoo and approved by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), New Delhi, in October, 2018, was pending for approval of the Gujarat government. Due to persistent efforts of Punjab, finally Gujarat government gave nod to the proposal. To formally hand over the lions, a felicitation programme was conducted in Gir, Gujarat, in which CM Gujarat handed over the certificate of authorization to Punjab to receive the lions.
Accordingly, as per the discussion held between the directors of the two zoos, the technical team headed by state veterinary officer (SVO), Chhatbir zoo, Ashish, along with Harpal Singh, range officer, and other animal keepers, reached Rajkot zoo on August 16.
After the health check up of animals and formal clearance, the animals were loaded safely into customized containers. Taking all precautions, the team started its return journey on August 17 evening via Rajasthan and Haryana with continued monitoring and inspection, finally reaching here.
Waiting for the animals, the zoo team welcomed and received the new members Akshat, Drithi and Gauri with euphoria. After a brief period of examination by the veterinary wing of the Chhatbir Zoo, the animals were served soup and meat. The new members will be kept under observation in quarantine for minimum one month before being displayed to visitors.
These new entrants will add new life in the lion safari. With this, the expectations of the visitors may be met and the lion breeding programme of the zoo is expected to be improved.