A pair of zebras from Israel to get a lion

Waiting for a lion sighting in the Queen’s Garden continues due to the permission process

Prasad Raokar
Mumbai: Along with Mumbaikars, tourists from home and abroad are facing one obstacle after another in fulfilling their promise to visit the pair of Aitdar lions. The municipality has not yet received the permission of the Central Zoological Authority required for the process after it received a pair of zebras to replace the lion pair. Only after getting this permission, the next process will be completed and the way for sightseeing of Mumbaikar-tourists will be open.

The municipality has undertaken the project of renovation of Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Zoo and Garden (Ranichi Bagh) at Byculla. Under this project, various wild animals from home and abroad will be brought to Rani’s garden. As part of the same, there are plans to bring a pair of lions each from the zoos at Junagadh and Indore to the Queen’s Garden.

According to the scheme, the municipality has started efforts to get a pair of lions by contacting the zoos at Junagadh and Indore. Talks have been held with both the zoos about this and both the zoos will have to provide a pair of zebras in exchange for a pair of lions. Since there are no zebras in Rani’s garden, the municipality will have to procure them from other places. With this in mind, the municipality had started the process to get two pairs of zebras. It was tested not only in the country but also in zoos abroad. It took a long time. Two pairs of zebras are now available in Israel and the process of obtaining them has begun. The municipality will be able to get the pair of lions by giving these zebras, said the municipal officials.

The process of obtaining a pair of lions by pairing zebras requires the permission of the Central Zoological Authority. The Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Zoo and the park administration have sent a letter to the Central Zoo Authority five months ago seeking permission. However, his reply or permission letter has not been sent to the municipality yet. As soon as permission is obtained from the authority, the zebra pair will be brought from Israel and given to the zoos at Junagadh and Indore. The pair will then be brought to the Queen’s Garden from both the zoos, the official said.

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