Wednesday, May 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

HP to blame for Rozy’s death
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), an NGO working for the conservation of wildlife, has blamed the Himachal government for its “obstinate attitude” in not moving Rozy, the rare snow leopard, to Darjeeling zoo.

Sources in WTI said the Darjeeling zoo is recognised as a breeding and care centre for snow leopards.

Thirtyfour-month-old Rozy, the only snow leopard in captivity in Himachal Prdaesh, died at Tutikandi zoo in Kufri, near Shimla, here on Sunday.

Mr Ashok Kumar, founder trustee and senior adviser, Wildlife Trust of India, told TNS that he had sought the intervention of the Central Zoo Authority to move the snow leopard from Kufri to the Darjeeling zoo. Mr Kumar said the CZA asked the state government to do the needful.

Mr Kumar said the WTI was keen that Rozy be moved to the Darjeeling zoo sometime in winter to facilitate breeding and enrichment of its life. He pointed out that one of the modern principles of zoo-keeping is that the animals be kept in pairs for enrichment of their life. He said snow leopards are high-altitude animals which are threatend by poaching and habitat problems. He said they are solitary animals and come together only for breeding.

Sources in the CZA acknowledged that the WTI had made a representation to move the animal. Sources said although there is not much difference between Kufri and Darjeeling in terms of altitude, it was felt that moving Rozy to the Darjeeling zoo would contribute to the breeding programme as it was carrying wild genes.

Sources said the CZA even asked the Darjeeling zoo to give a pair of snow leopards from its captive-bred stock in exchange for Rozy. Although this offer was made to the Himachal government, it used dilatory tactics in moving the animal.Back


Probe ordered
Tribune News Service

Shimla, May 8
The Forest Minister, Mr Roop Singh Thakur, has ordered an enquiry into the death of Rozy, a snow leopard, in the Himalayan nature park at Kufri, near here.

Mr Roop Singh, who is on a tour to Mandi, directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to conduct an enquiry into the circumstances leading to the death of Rozy, the only snow leopard in captivity in Himachal Pradesh. He has been asked to submit the report within a fortnight.Back

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