BBP lacks swab testing gadget, can't show off new zebras

BBP lacks swab testing gadget, can't show off new zebras

 Though it has been two months since the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) got four zebras to replace the lone zebra that died around a year ago, visitors will have to wait a little longer to see them gallop and graze in the park.

This is because the BBP has no instrument to collect the animals’ swab samples, which need to be tested and certified by quarantine officers before the animals can be cleared for public viewing. The BBP, under the animal exchange programme had received four zebras from the Zoological Centre, Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan (Safari), Israel, on November 24, 2015. According to the procedure, animals must be quarantined before they are released into cages or enclosures for public display. The whole procedure is likely to take another month, BBP Director Santosh Kumar told Deccan Herald.

According to the Animal Quarantine and Certification Services under the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, three sets of swab and blood samples need to be collected and tested. Since the BBP was unable to find the required instrument to collect swab samples in Bengaluru, they are buying it from Mumbai.

Swab samples will then be collected and sent to the National Research Centre on Equines, Hissar, Haryana for analysis. The reports obtained will be sent to quarantine officers for certification and then the zebras will be cleared for display. Further, the enclosure to house the zebras is still under construction. They will be housed near the entrance of the BBP. The enclosure is being built at an estimated cost of Rs 30- 50 lakh and is likely to be ready by the time quarantine ends.

Park will be closed on R-Day

Unlike last year, BBP will remain closed this year on January 26, the Republic Day, since it has coincided with the park’s weekly holiday, Tuesday.

Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) Director Santosh Kumar said the staff would not like to work on their day off.

“We have also observed that revenues on weekdays is meagre. Normally on weekdays, the park earns around Rs three lakh, and on weekends it is around Rs 10 lakh. On holidays, the earnings are around Rs five lakh. Since most visitors know the park is closed on Tuesdays, the footfalls is expected to be low,” he said.


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