By Shankar Bennur
Mysore zoo to display only three elephants and shift remaining to Koorgalli.
The number of elephants displayed at Mysore zoo is likely to reduce in the coming months with the zoo management planning to set up an elephant care centre at Koorgalli.
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA), in its order issued in 2009, had banned elephants from zoos.
This ban was ‘challenged’ by the Mysore zoo management, which said that elephants were an inseparable part of the zoo and offered to ensure their display in less numbers.
Accordingly, it came forward to establish an elephant care centre outside the zoo premises, at Koorgalli.
At present, the zoo houses eight Asiatic and two African elephants. The Mysore zoo, which has been displaying elephants for many decades, disapproved the directive and agreed to provide more space for its pachyderms but sought to display them in limited numbers.
Accordingly, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the CZA and the Mysore zoo, which decided to display around three Asiatic elephants at the zoo and shift the remaining to the elephant care centre, on the outskirts of the city. However, the two African elephants would be retained on the zoo premises to avoid viral infections, said B.P. Ravi, Executive Director, Mysore zoo.
The elephants would be rotated once in five months for display at the zoo. As the new facility at Koorgalli is huge, the elephants will get ample space to wander, which will improve their health, Mr. Ravi said.
“We had no plans of having an elephant care centre. But, because of the order, we decided to have it at Koorgalli as the animal rescue centre and conservation breeding centre for Indian bison is coming up there,” he told The Hindu.
Prime attractionMr. Ravi said the elephants are a prime attraction at the zoo. These animals raise a lot of curiosity among children, who visit the zoo in big numbers. Moreover, the jumbos have a long association with humans.
“Zoo without elephants is unimaginable,” he said.