IN THE pipeline for over four years, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has approved a plan to get a lion to Veermata Jijabai Udyan, popularly known as the Byculla zoo.
The lion will be brought in from Junagadh zoo, which had earlier refused to part with the big cat, as the Byculla zoo had no animal to offer in return. Sources in the BMC said the Junagadh zoo has now decided to give the lion to Byculla without an exchange. The Byculla zoo will have to give the Junagadh zoo the animal later on.
Last month, the Byculla zoo has also received approval for a pair of swamp deer (barasingha) from Kanpur zoo. In exchange, the zoo authorities will handover a pair of military macaw monkeys, which they have been breeding for 20 years.
The Byculla zoo’s plan to procure more animals had hit a roadblock after it had no animals to offer in exchange to other zoos. Zoos across the country follow a barter system, wherein a zoo offers the animals in surplus in exchange of the animals they want.
While the approval for the lion and the swamp deer is in place, animal enthusiasts will have to wait longer for jackals from Surat, wolves from Jodhpur and tigers from Aurangabad zoos, as the final approval from the CZA is awaited. At present, the zoo has monkeys, crocodiles, elephants, hippopotamus and a surplus of exotic birds that no other zoo is interested in. The BMC had approached these zoos with an offer that it will offer animals in exchange later.