500 animals may get a new home in Delhi Zoo

The Delhi Zoo authorities have drawn up an ambitious plan under which around 500 new animals, including some exotic species, will be acquired from various countries in the next few years.

Zoo curator Riyaz Khan said the authorities are planning to increase the number of animals from the current 1,550 to 2,000. “We have decided to bring ostriches, kangaroos and zebras from Australia and South Africa in the first phase of the plan,” he said.

It is also in the process of acquiring a pair of pumas from Russia. Apart from foreign countries, the zoo has also been acquiring new animals from within the country.
Soon, the zoo will get a pair Indian hyenas, chausinghas and foxes from Bilaspur, said Khan.

“We already have the required infrastructure to keep animals from Africa and Australia. We just require the necessary clearances,” he aded.

Already a pair of wild foxes from Bilaspur Zoo have been acquired in exchange for an adult hippopotamus and four emus.

“We have been negotiating with the zoo in Bilaspur to help us get the Indian hyenas and they will be here once all the formalities and required quarantine checks are done by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA),” he said.

Roles and responsibilities

The CZA in India is the governing body under the ministry of environment and forests which looks after the functioning of all zoological gardens in the country. It is responsible for approving the various acquisitions made by zoos.

Khan said these acquisitions are a part of the expansion process the zoo is planning. “We want to take up the species count from 110 to 200 and the number of animals from 1552 to 2000 under the master plan”. In the past few years, the zoo brought a number of rare and exotic animals, including African lions and elephants, he added.

Delhi’s zoo is one of the oldest in the country and was established in 1959 under the patronage of Jawaharlal Nehru. It attracts around 10,000 visitors, including foreigners, on weekends and holidays while on weekdays around 3,000 to 4,000 people visit the park.

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