Ujwal Satyal, The Himalaya Times, 30 Oct 2017
Central Zoo, the country’s only zoo, in Jawalakhel, has turned into a safe heaven for rescued animals which would otherwise have slim chances of survival.
More than one-third of the animals, of the total 110 species currently in the zoo, are rescued animals. The Central Zoo has been housing and animals received from different sources.
The first source contributing rescued animals to the zoo is the zoo’s official rescue team and several wildlife conservation centres involved in rescue of troubled animals.
Animals that pose a threat to human lives, injured animals, and orphaned animals whose survival becomes difficult in their environments are rescued and brought to the zoo by official rescue teams. Animals being illegally trafficked but rescued by police are kept in the zoo.
Animals in care of private owners also get transferred to the zoo when the owners are not able to handle them.
The authorities at Central zoo rescued as many as 10 leopards last year. They have been trans-located to their natural habitat. Endangered animals like rhinoceros, red panda, jungle cat and civet have also been rescued by various teams, according to zoo officials.
Likewise, animals that were rescued by police from animal trafficking are also in high numbers at the zoo.
Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal police on October 18 rescued live animals including two chimpanzees, eight Mona monkeys, seven golden pheasants, 38 speckled pigeons and 65 nanday parakeets, natives to Nigeria. They are being rehabilitated in the central zoo.
A pair of exotic Lemur, native to the island of Madagascar, can also be seen in the zoo. The pair was also rescued by the CIB, last year. The zoo also receives animals that owners fail to domesticate. Exotic birds, such as, black hawks, black kites and budgerigar that were rescued some 25 years ago are found in plenty at the zoo.
Sayuj Poudyal, a member of a rescue team of the Central zoo said, “It would be unethical to pick up animals from their natural habitat and keep them in the zoo, so we also collect animals rescued from different sources and try to give them a new life.”