Transfer of animals from South Africa likely to cost a fortune for zoo

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The proposed transfer of animals from to city could well be the costliest animal import projects ever undertaken by the zoo authorities.
The finance department has cleared an amount close to Rs 4.5 crore as per the proposal for transportation of animals submitted by department of zoo. Sources said that the proposal mainly includes cargo charges, payment for the agency and the like and finance for additional requirements can also be sought from department of finance.

While the mandatory clearance process is in its final stage, the zoo administration has reportedly awarded tenders to the tune of Rs 1 crore for revamping the enclosure of giraffes which will be brought from South Africa. The work will be undertaken by public works department.

The amount required for revamping the enclosures of white lion and zebras are yet to be finalized, which is also expected to cost a fortune, going by the nature of estimates being prepared for animal enclosures in city zoo.

As per the proposal, four white lions, four giraffes, five zebras and two black jaguars will be brought to from South Africa. The progress in the work of enclosures will be crucial in engaging the agency which shall be entrusted with the logistics of transport of animals from South Africa.

The zoo officials are already running behind schedule with regard to preparation of enclosures for the animals being brought from foreign zoos. Clearances have already been received from central zoo authority, ministry of environment and forests, central animal husbandry department and director general of foreign trade.

The officials exude hope that work on enclosures will be completed before all mandatory clearances are met and tender for transportation is awarded to an agency.

Meanwhile, a new enclosure needs to be built for two black jaguars and an interpretation centre has also been proposed in front of the place where the enclosure of black jaguars will be built. The zoo has had a history of splurging on animal enclosures in the past as well.

In 2016, the zoo administration had completed the construction of new enclosures for jackals, barking deer, blue bull, and Malabar giant squirrel at a baffling cost of Rs 4.89 crore. Strangely none of the officials in the zoo had ever posed doubts regarding the exorbitant costs incurred for animal enclosures.

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