Black Panther, melanistic Panthera pardus, at Nagarhole National Park, India

Guwahati: A pair of black panthers from Guwahati Zoo were relocated to a Reliance Industries-run zoo in Gujarat in January under an exchange programme, Assam Forest Department officials have said.

Tejas Mariswamy, the Guwahati Zoo chief told EastMojo that on January 12, the zoo relocated the pair to Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Kingdom in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

“It was done with due approval of the Central Zoo Authority,” Mariswamy said. The Guwahati Zoo has five more black panthers, he added.

According to a letter reviewed by EastMojo, the Centre accorded its approval to the proposal on November 23, 2020.

Mariswamy said that under the exchange deal, the Reliance Industries-run zoo would help get Zebras from Israel for the Guwahati Zoo. “We haven’t got them yet. But they will help us,” Mariswamy said.

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The Guwahati Zoo has requested for four Zebras from the Zoological Centre Tel-Aviv Ramat-Gan.

A communication from the Israeli facility to Guwahati Zoo authorities, witnessed by EastMojo, says that the transfer is not likely to happen before April because of various reasons, including Covid-19 lockdown and General Elections.

Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Kingdom is a 250 acre property in Jamnagar as per its publicly available masterplan reviewed by EastMojo. The facility was approved by the Central Zoo Authority in 2019.

Mariswamy said such exchange of animals between zoos is routine. The zoo recently received a pair of Hoolock Gibbons from the zoo in Aizawl and is likely to send a tiger in exchange.

“In the same way, we received giraffe from Mysore and crocodiles from Lucknow,” Mariswamy said.

Also Read: Watch: Assam’s Dhulijan village performs heart-wrenching last rites for dead vultures



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