Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysuru could get two more animals as the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) shortlisted it to host the ‘pets’ of an Andhra Pradesh-based orthopaedist returning from Ukraine war-stricken.
Amid Russian military operations in Ukraine, many Indians have returned home after being affected by the war. However, Dr. Girikumar Patil, known as “Jaguar Kumar”, who owns a Yagwar jaguar and a Sabina black panther in Donbass, found it difficult to travel with his pets. He refused to leave Ukraine without them.
Dr Patil, from Anuku in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, is also the caretaker of two Italian dogs.
Karnataka Zoo Authority chairman LR Mahadevaswamy said Dr Patil negotiated to bring his “pets” to India because he feared for their safety in the war-affected country.
“The government has clarified that it cannot keep wild animals in its possession as Indian law does not allow it. The CZA has offered to keep Dr Patil’s pets in one of the zoos under its jurisdiction. Additionally, the CZA has selected five best zoos and Mysuru Zoo tops the list,” he said.
Mahadevaswamy also said Mysuru Zoo is ready to welcome the two big cats if the CZA finalizes and helps complete transportation, rehabilitation and other processes.
Mysuru Zoo, established by Maharaja Chamaraja Wadiyar X in 1892, is India’s oldest and finest menagerie. It is spread over 157 acres of land in the middle of Mysuru town including Lake Karanji. It is counted among the best zoos in the world and is in the list of top five zoos in Asia by Listly, followed by Singapore Zoo and Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Pattaya, Thailand.
It is also in the list of the top 10 zoos in Asia, according to a Trip Advisor poll, followed by Singapore Zoo; Khao Kheow Open Zoo; Chimelong Xiangjiang Safari Park, Guangzhou, China; Adventure World, Shirahama-cho, Japan; Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm, Thailand; and Asahiyama Zoo, Japan.