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Lahore Zoo History of Lahore Zoological Gardens

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by J I N X, 13 Jul 2018.

  1. J I N X

    J I N X Active Member

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    Location:
    The Vale of Peshawar
    Part 2/2

    Lions and tigers have been a staple at Lahore zoo since the beginning. Lions up till recently comprised of two prides, totaling 22 individuals. One of these has now been reduced to pretty much only the breeding pair, the rest having been sent of to other institutions (Peshawar and Marghozar zoo, among others). The zoo has a self sustaining population with newer specimens brought from outside sources every now and then to prevent inbreeding depression (after the zoo's tigers suffered from this reason). The oldest lion(ess) at the zoo was Fairy, born in the zoo in 1999 and lived to 18 years of age. In 2015-2016 as many as 13 cubs were born at the zoo, 3 of these died due to gastritis. In 2017, the zoo imported a pair of white lions. Two cubs were born to this pair earlier this year.
    Tigers at the zoo are Bengal tigers and total around 13-14 individuals including 1 pair of white tigers. Up till around 2012, the zoo's tigers suffered from inbreeding depression, leading to a weak immune system (as many as 12 tigers died from Trypanosoma in 1997-2007).
    Leopards at the zoo are pardus (previously melanotica), although fusca have been kept in the collection previously. In 2006 a wild-caught female leopard (caught because of repeated attacks on livestock) was brought to the zoo. It is unknown if it ever bred. In 2014 a wild-caught male leopard was brought to the zoo. This male sired a female cub in late 2016. The zoo's leopards were previously in a cage in the previous monkey-house building. Currently, they are housed in a newly-built enclosure located on a hill in the middle of the zoo.

    Lahore zoo and Karachi zoo took part in the country's first zoo exchange breeding program in 2008. Lahore exchanged a female leopard, two blackbucks, and two pairs of chital for a pair of pumas (the first in the zoo in over two decades) and a trio of baboons. Following other exchanges have taken place with Karachi and Bahawalpur zoos. In 2014 the zoo received four muggers from Karachi (in addition to a wild-caught one) and a trio of smooth-coated otters. Previously Karachi's gharials were transferred to Lahore. These, unfortunately, never bred and are no more a part of the zoo's collection.

    The ungulate collection of the zoo has remained more or unless unchanged over the years; breeding herds of hog deers (18 individuals), chinkara (6), blackbuck, chital (7) and fallow deer (11) among others. Lahore zoo has, over the years, kept Bactrian and Dromedary camels, llamas and guanacos. The last of the camels, a possible hybrid, died last year after being injured by a male nilgai, leaving only the llamas and guanacos in the collection.

    The zoo has a breeding pair of Asiatic black bears (having had 2 litters over the previous 10 years). The bear previously allowed access inside the bear house (my personal favorite part of the zoo) but has since around 2001 closed the building after a kid was killed by a bear after his parents lifted him up to the barrier to give him a better view. The zoo also houses 2 or 3 Himalayan brown bears, which until recently were displayed in the bear house but now have been transferred to an enclosure originally meant for chimpanzees.

    Lahore zoo has had it's ups and downs over the years, but has remained an important institution in the country, having taken part in various breeding programs, animal relocations, public awareness campaigns among other initiatives. Currently the zoo is going through a modernisation project, modeled, according to govt., on Singaporean zoos.

    This concludes my first "History of zoos of Pakistan" thread, I plan on doing Marghozar zoo, Islamabad next. Please note that because I don't live in Lahore and visit after gaps lasting usually around a year I have used the most recent info available on the topic and as such it might not be entirely accurate.
     
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  2. J I N X

    J I N X Active Member

    Joined:
    9 Dec 2016
    Posts:
    43
    Location:
    The Vale of Peshawar
    PICT0020V1.png
    Suzi, ~2001 on my first visit to the zoo.
     
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  3. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Looking forward to the Marghazar Zoo. I knew it forty years ago.
     
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