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Zoo Park favours exotic animals over tigers

Zoo Park favours exotic animals over tigers
Highlights

Even as conservation experts and organisations in the field of wildlife conservation debate about the rise in the number of tigers in the country post the latest census, no one can question the large number of tigers at the Nehru Zoological Park (NZP). With 18 tigers the zoo is one among the few in the country that has such a large number of tigers.

There being as many as 18 tigers, the NZP authorities are trying to swap the tigers for animals from other countries

Even as conservation experts and organisations in the field of wildlife conservation debate about the rise in the number of tigers in the country post the latest census, no one can question the large number of tigers at the Nehru Zoological Park (NZP). With 18 tigers the zoo is one among the few in the country that has such a large number of tigers.

Wildlife experts say that the Hyderabad zoo has managed to have a good number of tigers, but for a zoo spread over 380 acres it could do with more species. The zoo authorities have been trying to get six zebras from South Africa. A senior zoo official said that the zoo managements in South Africa are willing to give the zebras free of cost but NZP would have to bear the transport cost which is coming up to Rs 20 lakh.

“Out of the 18 tigers, nine are white tigers. Few zoos in the country can boast of such a number. But we need to have a balance,” said an official. Anita, a student of St Ann’s College, who is a regular visitor to the zoo, says, “There is no doubt that the tiger has a special appeal and all visitors to the zoo want to have a look at the tiger, but a zoo should have the right mix of different animals.”

The zoo cares for over 1,600 animals covering some 160 species, besides the garden and ponds spread across 380 acres. The NZP management is planning to swap tigers with exotic animals from other countries but the cost of bringing them to Hyderabad is too high. The animal adoption scheme too is not fetching the zoo enough money. For 2014-15, the zoo received Rs 45 lakh as part of the scheme.

Almost half of the amount was due to the benevolence of a just few individuals. A senior zoo official said that the zoo urgently needs a male giraffe as there is only one female giraffe. Also discussions are on with a few zoo managements in other countries for chimpanzees, wild asses and other animals.

By:T P Venu

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