AGARTALA, Dec 24 � There is good news for animal lovers. Twelve animals including a hippopotamus, a pair of sambars and a black buck have been brought to the Sipahijala Zoological Park, 32 km from the capital town.
While the hippopotamus and sambar have been received in exchange with the Sanjay Gandhi Zoological Park in Lucknow, the black buck, hog deer and three species of birds � golden pheast, silver pheast and peacock � have been brought from the Patna Zoological Park. Though all the animals have been shifted to cages, the hippopotamus will be placed in the designated place shortly. �We could not uncage the hippopotamus because the vehicles carrying the biggest animal consignment came on Friday evening only. The park authority has already sought a crane so that the mammoth animal can be pulled out of the vehicle and we expect it to be done at the earliest,� said Ajit Bhowmik, Director of Sipahijala Zoological Park on Saturday.
He said that animal lovers would be excited to see the new animals, especially the hippopotamus, for the first time in Agartala. �The footfall of visitors is expected to go up manifold after the display of the new animals,� he said. Bhowmik said this was an animal exchange programme. As part of the programme, the Sipahijala Zoological Park offered two pairs of leopard cats to the Sanjay Gandhi Zoological Park and the Patna Zoological Park.
Giving more details on the exchange programme, Bhowmik said that the Sipahijala Zoological Park has 42 species of animals and there is a plan to increase the number up to 83 species in phases.
On the deplorable condition of boats, Bhowmik said, �We have already placed a representation to the competent authority to replace the old and dilapidated boats. This will be done during the peak season.� The boating spot is considered one of the most attractive places for visitors which is reflected in the revenue collection. Last year, a sum of around Rs 2 lakh was earned from the Sipahijala boating spot.