Anacondas to thrill zoo visitors

In about a fortnight, the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens will have an added attraction. The zoo will romp home the honour of first and only zoo to have Anacondas in captivity, in the country.

Five anacondas from Colombo, Sri Lanka will join the league of animals, birds and reptiles in zoo. 

The Hollywood’s blockbluster film Anaconda made one among the deadliest snakes on earth popular around the world – to a reptile which is also endangered. Director Luis Llosa’s film turned out to be a big hit among people of all ages, though children enjoyed the movie thoroughly. If the anacondas on silver screen thrilled the movie buffs, the Mysore Zoo is set to provide its visitors a real experience of the Anacondas. The zoo which is counted among the world’s best Zoos will host not one or two anacondas, but a group of five reptiles altogether in a special enclosure –  designed exclusively for these reptiles. The hard work of officials in securing clearances from central and world agencies for transportation of anacondas in the last six months paid result finally.

“We have passed the last hurdle early this week when CITES (convention of international trade on endangered species) gave its approval for relocation of Anacondas from National Zoological Gardens, Colombo to Chamarajendra Zoological gardens in Mysore,” a senior official told City Herald.

The approval has come after much perusal and persuasion. Though, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) gave its approval, the world body CITES made sure to convince itself about the arrangements made for the reptile as it cannot survive in cold temperature and very high humid climate before it gave its ascent to the Colombo zoo to part with five anacondas out of their collection.

“The zoo is giving final touches to a special enclosure which will have air-conditioning facility to keep the anacondas warm when the temperature fall. The warmth will also be provided through artificial lighting. While, these enclosure will have bigger space than these reptiles housed in Colombo zoo which makes the environment friendly for Anacondas. The CITES was apprised of the huge campus of the Mysore zoo and the advantage to the species,” the official added.

Interestingly, though such deal usually comes with exchange to other species, Mysore zoo is sparing nothing to get anacondas – as Colombo zoo is giving it to Mysore as a goodwill gesture. The deal was struck during the period of former executive director K B Markandaiah at an international meet of zoo directors held in Nepal early this year.

In a friendly chat, the head of the Colombo zoo informed Markandaiah that they have green Hide and seek: A group of elephants relax at its enclosure at Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysore. DH Photos by Prashanth H G  Anacondas excess to the capacity of reptile space and they were ready to part with a few anacondas if any zoo wanted it. Markandaiah evinced immediate interest and told the Colombo official that Mysore zoo can accept the Green Anacondas.

Anacondas are non-venomous snake found in tropical South America. Though, these reptiles do not spew venom, a moderate clutch of heavy size snake can prove fatal to animals, including man.

Freshness

If coming of Anacondas have brought a warmth in the zoo, the hosts of several young ones born in captive breeding – some of them endangered – have doubled the joy for both officials and visitors.

The two male tiger cubs born to Manya and Brahma has been released to enclosure. While, young  marmoset babies (pocket monkey), Swamb Deers, four-horned antelope, Black Swan Chicks, Red Lory, Eclectus Parrot and various species of pheasants have added a freshness to the Zoo.

“Our conservation efforts, strict adherence to quality diet, hygiene and expertise and ideal climate have resulted in successful captive breeding. While, the zoo will continue to make efforts to procure more variety of species to add to its 1200 individual species constantly keeping in touch with the zoo’s around the world and the embassies,” B P Ravi, executive director of Mysore zoo remarks.

Presently, the zoo is making untiring effort to find a pair for Gorilla and black and white rhinos and other species which are left without a pair.

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