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Himalayan Tahrs, Blue sheep for Darjeeling Zoo arrive from Japan

Staff Reporter


The animals were received as a part of an animal exchange programme

The zoo specialises in conservation breeding of indigenous Himalayan animals


KOLKATA: Three pairs of the Himalayan Tahr and two pairs of Blue sheep from a zoo in Japan were received here by officials of the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological (PNHZ) Park in Darjeeling on Wednesday.

“The animals, received as a part of an animal exchange programme, were essential for several conservation projects of the zoo. We had sent a pair of elephants to the Okinawa Zoo about three years back,” said zoo director A.K. Jha.

The animals would be kept at the Animal Quarantine Section at the airport here for a month before they were taken to Darjeeling, he added.

The Himalayan Tahrs, listed as near threatened in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list, arrived close on the heels of the first successful breeding of a calf at the zoo just six days ago, Mr. Jha said.

While the Darjeeling zoo already possessed a few Himalayan Tahrs, this is the first time it has acquired the Blue sheep.

The Tahrs and the Blue sheep are among the 10 indigenous Himalayan species that have been sanctioned by the Central Zoo Authority as conservation breeding projects.

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The PMZH Park, which specialises in the conservation breeding of indigenous Himalayan animals, is one of the 172 zoos worldwide to be given membership of the World Association of Zoo and Aquariums. Breeding of Himalayan birds — the Blood Pheasant, the Satyr Tragopan, the Monal and the Grey Peacock Pheasant as well as the Himalayan Salamander — are the other conservation projects the zoo has initiated.

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