Valedictory function of 67th Wildlife Week held at National Zoological Park, Delhi

New Delhi : The valedictory ceremony of the Wildlife week which is being celebrated under the theme ‘संरक्षण का संकल्प – एक जन भागीदारी (a conservation collective)’ was held at National zoological Park Delhi. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change presided over the meeting.

On the occasion the union minister released a Black kite fitted with a satellite tag for research purposes being undertaken by Wildlife Institute of India. The data will help understand the migratory patterns for the species. Choubey also interacted with the children who were participating in the on-the-spot competition and also gave away prizes to the winners.

The wildlife week 2021 saw a multitude of activities have been undertaken in collaboration with civil society organizations, academic institutions thereby making wildlife conservation participatory with universal acceptance. These conservation awareness activities have also been in sync with the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign titled ‘Conservation to coexistence: The people connect’.

The union minister also visited the new arrivals (3 sub adult Asiatic lions (1 male :2 females) as received from Sakkarbaug Zoological Park, Gujarat. As this was the occasion of auspices Navratri Shri Choubey also named them as Maha Gowri & Shailja- the two females, and the male as Maheswar. He participated in the plantation of native tree species of Gujarat Gir landscape near the lion enclosure and planted a Kanak Champa (Pterospermum acerifolium) tree.

Choubey also visited the enclosure wherein the tigress (2 females approx. 4 years) have been brought in from wildlife rescue centre, Gorewada Maharashtra. Both the females were rescued from Bhramapuri forest division in Chandrapur District and shall support the Conservation breeding plan for Bengal tigers at NZP. The Minister named the Tigresses as Aditi and Siddhi.

Currently zoo houses one pair of Tiger (Male – Karan of 8 years and Female – Barhkha of 6 years) and one pair of Asiatic Lion (Male – Sundram of 12 years and Female – Hema of 7 years). Transporting the animals safely is an arduous task and requires meticulous planning and preparation. Two Sloth bears approx. 3 years (male) and 2 years (female) have also been received from WRC, Gorewada and 1 female Chausinga, 1 lady Amherst’s pheasant and 3 Red Eared sliders have also been received as part of the exchange from Shakkarbaug Zoological Park, Gujarat.

At the beginning of the wildlife week, the zoo launched online (Poster and painting) competitions for which entries have been received. Expert Talks that focused on Himalayan landscape were conducted by inviting scientists and professors from colleges in Delhi. A unique, name the animal contest is ongoing on social media, where the youth can vote for names chosen for the favourite animal. The names will help provide positive reinforcement and greater bonding with the animal keeper and the animal.

The Zoo also launched Zoomania- a crowdsourced insects and butterfly campaign from today in which all visitors to the zoo can just take a photo and upload it with the location. It is expected that a checklist of butterflies and insects will be developed using this initiative.

Delhi zoo is spread across 188 acres and is surrounded by 3 UNESCO World heritage sites , it is iconic as it supports over 200 varieties of trees , 95 species with 1200 individuals of animal species in large scientifically designed enclosures making it truly the green lungs for the national capital . The zoo also received CSR support from Reliance foundation wherein 2 Isuzu Trucks, 2 Battery operated carts and Mobile X-ray unit were donated for better animal and health upkeep at the zoo.

The other dignitaries present at the valedictory function were, Shri Soumitra Dasgupta, ADG Wildlife, MoEFCC, Padmashree Dr KK Sharma, Shri Ram Dayal Chief engineer CCU and Mr Mr Pranay Chhabria, Vice President, Reliance Industries Limited.