GUWAHATI, Feb 29 � The Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden has recently expanded the number of exhibits by acquiring eight new animals. Under the animal exchange programme of the Central Zoo Authority, the State Zoo received three Hanuman langurs, two jackals, and three golden pheasants from the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park in Patna.
In exchange, the park in Patna received two leopards, two jungle cats, and one leopard cat from the State Zoo.
Today, State Minister of Environment and Forests Rockybul Hussain made a visit to the Zoo and observed the newly brought animals and released them in their enclosures for public viewing.
The new acquisitions will add to visitors� interest in the facility that is often described as the biggest carbon sink inside Guwahati city and hosts hundreds of species of flora and fauna.
A survey has documented more than 670 species of plants in the sprawling campus, which include around 345 indigenous species and145 species of medicinal plants. The floral wealth of the Zoo has also started attracting students and researchers of various parts of the State.
Sources in the Zoo informed that several other wild fauna are to be brought to the Zoo the days ahead. These include mute swan and hyena from Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park in Ranchi, bonnet macaque and ring-necked pheasant and sloth bear from Visakhapatnam-based Indira Gandhi Zoological park, and a few other animals from Nandanban Zoo of Raipur.
Founded in 1957, the Zoo is home to more than 600 animals, birds and reptiles some of which are rare and highly endangered. Spread over an area of 1.75 sq km, the Zoo is rare in having a natural landscape containing plain area, hilly terrain as well as perennial waterbodies.