Zebras from Israel, ducks from Czech Republic to enrich Assam zoo

Suklabaidya said that the zoo was following SoPs to prevent spread of COVID-19 infection. 

Post pandemic, visitors to the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden can look forward to seeing new entrants - zebras from Israel and white-winged wood ducks from the Czech Republic.

Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya on Friday revealed that four zebras from Israel would be brought to the zoo in exchange of two black panthers following an MoU with Reliance.

“Besides, four white winged wood ducks (locally called deo hah) will arrive from the Czech Republic. Enclosures for the new inmates are almost ready,” Suklabaidya said. 

The minister, during a visit to the zoo to take stock of health conditions of zoo keepers and animals, also disclosed that two Black Panther cubs were born at the zoo on Friday while another two cubs were born one and a half months ago. 

The zoo has been closed to visitors since April 28 this year because of COVID-19. 

The minister took a round of the enclosures along with principal chief conservator of forest, (wildlife), Amit Sahai and divisional forest officer, Assam State Zoo, Tejas Mariswamy, and enquired about the health of the animals.

“As of now, not a single animal is being affected by the disease and all the animals and birds are healthy,” he said. 

The minister also took stock of the health condition and wellbeing of the zoo keepers and thanked them for taking care of the animals during the pandemic times.

Ten zoo keepers who were earlier detected COVID-19 positive have recovered, while one is presently infected and in isolation. 

Suklabaidya said that the zoo was following SoPs to prevent spread of COVID-19 infection, including sanitisation of foodstuff. 

He said fresh grass has been grown for the herbivores in the hydroponic system within seven days. Rhinos, deer, Nilgai and black bucks are being fed daily with fresh grass grown in the hydroponic enclosure. 

The Minister said though the cash registers have not been tinkling since the zoo was closed, there are no immediate plans to open the zoo in the greater interest of the animals and zoo keepers.

“There are no immediate plans to open the zoo till the COVID situation returns to normal,” he added. 

(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)

TNT-The Northeast Today is now on WhatsApp. CLICK HERE to receive more updates on your phone.