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Animal exchange programme hit by Covid hurdle

Animal exchange programme hit by Covid hurdle
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Kolkata: Animal exchange programmes between Alipore Zoological Gardens (AZG) and different zoos in the country and abroad was hampered in the wake of Coronavirus this year.

In November 2019, the Indira Gandhi Zoo Park (IGZP) received a pair of zebras, a marmoset and a couple of water monitor lizard from Kolkata's Alipore zoo.

In exchange, the IGZP sent wild dogs, ring-tailed lemur, wild dogs, ring-tailed lemur and grey pelicans.

"Every year, we exchange animals from zoos in the country and abroad. This year there is no Animal exchange programme due to COVID- 19 pandemic," said Asis Kumar Samanta, director of AZG.

In March 2019, the Alipore zoo sent two giraffes to Nehru Zoological Garden in Hyderabad in exchange of a pair of jaguars, two lions and six mouse deer.

The AZG, closed on March 17 as a preventive measure to combat the spread of

Coronavirus, reopened on October 2 maintaining all COVID- 19 protocols.

Visitors now have to follow the SOPs of the state Forest department. There is no counter ticket at the zoo. Visitors have to buy online tickets from the official website (www.kolkatazoo.in/new) to enter the zoo premises.

At present, the footfall of visitors is between 400 and 600 on a daily basis. Earlier, during pre-COVID 19 pandemic period, the footfall of visitors used to be between 3000 and 4000 on a normal day.

During festive seasons such as Durga Puja or Christmas (yuletide) the per day footfall used to be between 6000 and 10,000 per day.

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