Tirupati: Nocturnal house to amuse visitors soon

Tirupati: The Nocturnal House being built by TTD at Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park to house various nocturnal animals like civet cats, owls, bats, jungle cats and other rare and endangered species has been completing fast.

TTD was taking special interest and has come forward to build the house as it needs the aromatic secretion of civet cats regularly which will be used in Lord Venkateswara's Abhishekam every Friday and in other rituals.

Till some time back, TTD used to grow civet cats in its dairy farm in Tirupati and collect the secretion. As the norms did not allow captive breeding of the civet cat, they have shifted them to SV Zoo Park and getting the required secretion from there itself. Needless to say that civet cat secretes a musk like substance from a gland near its tail.

In view of this and in the larger interests of the visitors too, they agreed to build a nocturnal house in more than three hectares of land by bearing entire cost of it.

Speaking to The Hans India, the Zoo Curator M Babitha said that the nocturnal house will have 18 cells to house 18 different species. They have been in consultation with the authorities of other zoos to bring more species, which will amuse the visitors as the species having their routine in the enclosures built resembling their natural habitat where the atmosphere will reverse the day and night with the help of lighting pattern.

Serious efforts were on to bring Asiatic Lion, which is genetically more superior to the zoo from Gir National Park, Gujarat under exchange programme for which the enclosure also getting ready. The zoo is having only hybrid lion. Himalayan black bear which lives more in cold places may soon join the sloth bear in the zoo. Required plantation and other environmental aspects are getting readied to accommodate the Himalayan black bear. While the lion safari was already there, white tiger safari is ready but not yet opened. The tigers being in acclimatisation stage. Once they get fully acquainted, the safari will be opened to the public, said the curator.

The zoo is not having any giraffe at present and it may cost about Rs 1 crore to get one. They are in touch with foreign zoos and they may give it free of cost. But to bring it up to Mumbai in flight quarantine has to be provided and it all incurs a huge amount.

She felt that donors have to come forward with their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to fund this and they can donate in parts also. She recalled that, Infosys foundation has been engaged in constructing a compound wall on east and west side with Rs 12 crore under CSR.

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