Zoo launches facility to preserve orchid gene pool

Two rhinos brought from Patna Zoo put on display

Zoo launches facility to preserve orchid gene pool

As part of the ex-situ conservation efforts taken up at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, an orchidarium has been set up near Karanji lake in the city.

The orchidarium, which was inaugurated on Thursday, is expected to serve as a ‘gene pool reserve’ for various species of orchids in the State. This is the second such orchidarium in the State, after an orchidarium was set up at Madikeri in Kodagu district.

Several species, comprising both commercially important hybrid species and indigenous species are being exhibited at the orchidarium, a first of its kind in the city.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, K S Shashidhar, President of The Orchid Society of Karnataka, who provided technical assistance to the Zoo with regard to the orchidarium, said that presence of such diverse species allowed to create new hybrid species of orchids.

He said that there were more than 270 species of orchids, found in the Western Ghats.

“Having samples of each species of orchids in such centres, will help us to regenerate these flowers, in case they go extinct in the wild. With more than 1,300 species found across India, orchids are vital indicators of the health of a forest eco-system. Of the available species in the country, close to 200 species could be commercially important, as orchid sales is a multi-million dollar industry,” he said.

According to Executive Director of the Zoo, B P Ravi, a total of 98 plants of around five species are being displayed at the orchidarium, with efforts being made to procure more species.

Rhinos displayed

Two young great Indian one-horned rhinos, which was brought to Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in the city, from Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, Patna, were put on display.

Male rhino Virat, which is three years old and female rhino Bubbli, one year old, were released for public display.

The animals, which were brought to the Zoo in July, have acclimatised to the Zoo environment and are doing well, said Zoo authorities. It can be recalled that the Zoo is housing the species of rhinos for the first time, since the past decade.

Exhibition

An exhibition of photographs, which were selected by the judges following a wildlife photography competition organised by the Zoo, at the Library of the Zoo, is another attraction.

As many as 76 photographers had participated in the competition and 390 photographs were submitted. Prizes were awarded in ‘wildlife’ and ‘zoo’ category. While Madhusudhan S R won the first place in ‘wildlife’ category, Pruthvi B won the first place in ‘zoo’ category.

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