GUWAHATI, Nov 30 – The Central Zoo Authority has designated the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden as a ‘Coordinating Zoo’ that will help conservation breeding programmes of a number of important species. The facility, which is among the seven ‘large zoos’ of the country has been given the go ahead to carry out breeding of rhino, golden langur, great peacock pheasant, serow, and golden cat.
As a coordinating zoo, it will share expertise with other zoos and international expert groups in their conservation breeding programmes. The development has come as a shot in the arm for the zoo as it recognises the success of its breeding programmes by competent authorities.
Currently breeding enclosures for rhino and golden langurs are complete. These had to be prepared according to established protocols to accommodate the animals in environment conducive to their breeding needs.
The success of its breeding programme can be gauged from the fact that during the period 2009-2012 several endangered species were born in the zoo. Among the species born during 2012 were black panther, common leopard, stump tailed macaque, serow, jungle cat, blue antlered deer and white tiger.
In the previous two years species bred in the zoo included Bengal Tiger, golden langur, pea fowl, among others.
In the last five years, the zoo successfully bred 37 mammals, birds, and reptiles belonging to 16 species, according to official figures published recently. Some of the new born subsequently died, but efforts are in full swing to reduce infant mortality.
According to official sources, there are 50 enclosures in the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden. There are 29 open enclosures of which eight are of scientific design. Authorities have identified 12 open enclosures which require improvements, reconstruction or relocation. After improvements, these will enable more breeding initiatives to take place.