In a bid to attract visitors, Chittagong zoo authorities will soon procure a couple of Bengal Tigers, national animal of Bangladesh, from South Africa since the zoo remained without a tiger for almost three years!
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Dr Md Mongur Morshed Chowdhury, deputy curator of Chittagong Zoo, said the cage of tigers had been lying empty since 2012.
“We have sent four letters in vain to Dhaka Zoo and Dulahazra Safari Park seeking a tiger couple. We had no choice but to bring the tigers from abroad,” he added.
The last tigress ‘Purnima’ died of Spirocerca disease on October 30, 2012 while her mate ‘Chandra’ died in 2009. Both ‘Purnima’ and ‘Chandra’ were brought to Chittagong Zoo from Dhaka Zoo in 2004.
Sources involved in the procurement process have confirmed the Dhaka Tribune that the Tk3.3m will be spent to bring them here.
Ruhul Amin, member secretary of Chittaong Zoo Executive Committee, on Friday told the Dhaka Tribune that the tiger couple will arrive at Chittagong Zoo within two months.
“We have signed an agreement with Salcon Traders for bringing a tiger couple from South Africa. The Chittagong Zoo will use it’s won fund to bring the big cats,” said Amin who is also Assistant Commissioner (land), Sitakunda.
“We are trying to increase the animal diversity of the zoo. Recently, we have exchanged a lion for a lioness with Rangpur Zoo. Besides, some other rare animals will arrive at the zoo very soon,” added Amin.
On September 5, after a long gap of over 11 years, the lone Chittagong zoo lioness Nova was freed from her agonising loneliness, as a new lion had been brough from Rangpur zoo.
“The children often feel let down when they do not find any tiger at the zoo. We hope the number of visitors to the zoo will witness a steep increase with the arrival of the tiger couple,” he said.
Set up on February 28, 1989, the zoo is now located in a six-acre of hilly terrain in the city’s Foy’s Lake area.
Run by Chittagong district administration, the zoo now houses 360 animals of 67 species. Of them, 34 species are of birds while the rest species are of reptiles and other mammals.