Black Panther, melanistic Panthera pardus, at Nagarhole National Park, India Credit: Davidvraju/Wikimedia Commons

Guwahati: Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has condemned the transfer of two black panthers from Guwahati Zoo to a Reliance Industries-run zoo in Gujarat, and demanded an enquiry.

In a statement, APCC spokesperson Bobbeeta Sharma said, “It seems that even wild animals kept in captivity in zoos cannot escape from the tentacles of big corporate houses, as the recent ‘hush- hush’ transfer of two black panthers from the State Zoo in Guwahati to a zoo in Gujarat being set up by the Reliance group of the Ambanis has proved.”

The pair of black panthers were transferred in a secret manner during the second week of January, without the knowledge of animal lovers and conservationists in the state, claimed state Congress.

Also Read: Guwahati Zoo sends a pair of black panthers to Reliance-run Zoo in Gujarat

As reported earlier by EastMojo, Tejas Mariswamy, the Guwahati Zoo chief said 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.

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,” he added.

However, APCC said that despite the claims by a senior forest official, the document produced by him did not mention any such exchange and only states that the animals were ‘acquisitioned’ for the purpose of ‘display’.

“There is no mention of any exchange of animals in the letter addressed to the PCCF (Wildlife) of Assam,” said APPC, demanding an enquiry into the matter by the state government.

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