Tuesday, March 31, 2009

State to get pair of cheetahs soon

State to get pair of cheetahs soon
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik

CZAI Approves Exchange Of Asiatic Lions For Cheetahs From Singapore

Ahmedabad: This barter is sure to ensure some firsts — Gujarat will exchange a pair of Asiatic lions from Gir for a pair of the fastest animals in the world — the cheetah from Singapore. Cheetahs, now among endangered species, are known to run upto speeds of 100 kilometres per hour and hunt gazelles, another fast running animal. The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI) has finally approved the long pending demand by Gujarat for a pair of cheetahs to be bred in Sakkarbaug zoo, Junagadh. This will be the first time that an attempt to breed cheetahs will be made in India. The lions will be sent to Singapore, probably for breeding.

Forest officials said Sakkarbaug zoo was a breeding centre and there were plans to experiment with breeding of cheetahs here to be finally released in the wild, when the numbers are fairly large.

With this Gujarat will probably be the only state in the country to have cheetahs in a zoo. Earlier, three cheetahs were brought from Africa of which two were kept in Delhi and one in Hyderabad, none of which survived.

Officials said according to plans, the government plans to increase the number of cheetahs in the zoo by providing them a conducive atmosphere and later release the same in the jungle in the state.

The process to transfer these cheetahs will take place soon after the elections.

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