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Tripura zoo gets tigers, leopards

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Agartala, Feb 6 (PTI) After a gap of five years, two tigers were taken to Tripura’s Sepahijala Zoological Park, bringing cheers among animal lovers of the northeastern state, an official said Tuesday.

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Two leopards, a pair of peacocks and four pheasants were also brought to the park as part of an animal exchange programme from Bengal Safari in north Bengal’s Siliguri.

"The exchange programme was taken up under the guidance of the Central Zoo Authority. These animals will be released in the zoological park for public view after a month of quarantine," Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), Wildlife, Krishna Dulal Roy told PTI on Wednesday.

During the quarantine period, all the exchanged animals' health will be constantly monitored, he said.

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Two lions, a pair of spectacled langurs and three blackbucks were sent to Bengal Safari authorities as part of the exchange programme.

"The roar of Royal Bengal Tigers was missing at Sepahijala Zoological Park after the death of two big cats due to old age-related ailments in 2018. After a hectic process, we were able to bring two tigers from Siliguri zoological park. We hope that the presence of tigers will attract more visitors to the zoo," he said.

Two more animal exchange programmes- one with Bannerghatta Zoological Park in Karnataka and Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Tirupati are in the pipeline.

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Roy said the North Eastern Council (NEC) has approved a plan to give a facelift to Sepahijala Zoological Park, amounting to Rs 52 crore.

The fund will be utilised for the much-awaited expansion plan of the state’s finest zoological park.

"Of the 68-acre zoological park, around 28 acres remain unutilised. We want to expand the zoo areas to accommodate more animals by setting up new enclosures”, he said.

A plan is also mooted to introduce battery-operated vehicles from the entry point of the zoo to animal enclosures for convenience to visitors, he added. PTI PS BDC

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