Mumbai’s Zoo gets its first big cat in years, leopard arrives from Mangaluru

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Mumbai’s Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo has brought home, a pair of leopard and jackal, which arrived on Sunday after covering a road distance of almost 900 kilometres from Pilikula zoo in Mangaluru.

However, Mumbaikars will have to wait for at least two months before they can watch them in their new enclosures as the animals have been kept in a quarantine facility and are under watch as per norms of Central Zoo Authority (CZA)
The excitement of leopards finally reaching the zoo is obviously high as they are the first of the big cats to arrive at the Zoo post the planned makeover, which is underway. It was in 2005 that the zoo lost all its leopards due to old age and in 2014 Jimmy the hybrid lioness died, which was the last big cat species here.

“A two-year-old male and three-year-old female leopard along with a male and female jackal, were brought to Mumbai zoo by a team headed by Dr Dipika Valsarajan Veterinarian officer along with three animal keeper and transportation team,” informed Dr Sanjay Tripathi, Director VJB Zoo.

He informed that being summer the team, which started its journey on April 26 only travelled during nights and the animals were brought in specialised transportation cages and under constant monitoring.

According to officials at the zoo, while the enclosure for jackals is ready, the leopard enclosure would also be ready within two months. “By the time leopard enclosure is ready the quarantine period would be over and we can shift them for public viewing and we expect a large number of visitors thronging the zoo then,” said a BMC official adding that most likely they would get Lions next.

Work is being carried out on war footing to ready the enclosures for hyenas, lions, the small cat complex, Madras pond turtles, blackbucks, swamp deers and two bird aviaries, which are expected to be ready within three to four months. Also, all the proposed 17 enclosures will be ready for public viewing by January 2020.
Look who all are coming

Phase I
Jackal, Hyena, Leopard, Otters, Small cat complex, Wolf, Sloth bear, Madras pond turtle, Bird aviary I, Reptile house

Phase II
Lion, Tiger, Swamp deer, Nilgai, Four horned Antelope, Sambhar, Barking deer, Spotted deer, black bucks, Bird aviary II

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