Friday, April 15, 2011

Kumble's no cub in wildlife conservation

Kumble's no cub in wildlife conservation
TNN, Apr 11, 2011, 10.45pm IST

MYSORE: Former cricketer and State Board for Wildlife vice-chairman Anil Kumble has proved that hes no cub when it comes to wildlife conservation. He got 119-year-old Mysore Zoo two Asiatic lions from Gujarat which were put up for public view on Monday. With this, Mysore Zoo has become the third in the country to house Asiatic lions after Delhi and Hyderabad.

Anil Kumble had struck a deal with Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. This is the first time Gujarat, the habitat for Asiatic lions, has sent the big cat outside its state in the past 10 years.

Kumble inaugurated the lions enclosure after a pooja and christened the duo as Shankara and Gowri. And adopted Shankara in his childrens name at Rs 1 lakh for one year. The certificate was in the name of his children Aaruni, Mayas and Svasti. Kumble also extended the adoption of Giraffe calf Lakshmi by a year by paying Rs 40,000.

Talking to reporters, Kumble said the efforts are on to provide world-class facilities at the zoo. He also promised to rope in more cricketers for conservation of wild animals through the adoption scheme. Zaheer and Srinath have supported the cause, he added.

Mysore Zoo did not have Asiatic lions for 21 years after a pair of them had died. The Asiatic lion is smaller in size compared to African lion, which is regarded as a hybrid breed. Three hybrid lions were relocated to Shimoga Zoo to facilitate housing of Asiatic lions. The lions were quarantined for four weeks before put on public view. With this, the number of lions in the Mysore zoo has now gone up to four and the total number of species is 165.

Zebra from South Africa

Mysore Zoo is likely to get zebras from South Africa and birds from Germany. Talks are under way to exchange animals from the zoos of Hyderabad, Zoo Authority of Karnataka chairman M Nanjundaswamy told reporters.

Four cheetahs

Four cheetahs, which came from a Germany zoo in March, are yet to recover from jet lag. They will be shifted to enclosures in 10 days, said zoo executive director K B Markandaiah.