GUWAHATI, Feb 24 – After over a decade, the Assam State Zoo is set to host a pair of chimpanzees thanks to the mediation of star Indian cricketer Anil Kumble. The pair of chimpanzees is to be brought as part of an exchange programme between the Assam State Zoo and the Mysore Zoo. In return, the Mysore Zoo will receive a couple of rhinos from the Assam State Zoo.
Kumble, who is a well-known wildlife enthusiast and photographer, also happens to be a member of the Mysore State Wildlife Board, and it is in that capacity that he has shown keen interest in having one or two rhinos from Assam in exchange for the chimpanzees.
“Anil Kumble is known for his passion for wildlife and he has been acting as a mediator in the exchange process. The official process for the exchange is likely to be completed soon and we should get a couple of chimpanzees in exchange of one or two rhinos,” an Assam State Zoo official said.
The official said that the two zoos were sending formal proposals for the exchange to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) which will oversee the exchange programme. The CZA will verify the conditions in the two zoos before according its formal approval to the exchange. “The Mysore Zoo director also visited Assam recently and had a discussion with his Assam counterpart over the exchange,” the official said.
Chimpanzee used to be a star attraction in the Assam State Zoo till the late 1990s.