Without mentioning the deaths of three of giraffes, zebras and impalas each among exotic animals translocated from abroad, the Gujarat government on Saturday admitted that 41 exotic animals died at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project, the Statue of Unity (SOU) zoological Park at Kevadiya.
The information was disclosed during the ongoing Budget Session of the state assembly.
The tribal region of Garbada legislator from Congress, Chandrikaben Bariya in a written question, had asked the government as to how many animals and birds brought in from abroad and from other states for the Jungle Safari set up at Kevadiya — what was the expenditure incurred and how many have died in the the past two years.
Replying to the question, Ganpatsinh Vasava, the forest Minister informed that a total of 170 animals were brought for the Jungle Safari at Kevadiya, out of which 22 animals were from foreign countries, while 148 where brought from other states.
The 22 species from abroad included a Giraffe, three Zebras, three Wildebeest, two Oryx, five Alpacas, four Lamas and four Wallabies.
Similarly, two Scarlet Macaws, five Orange winged Amazon, Blue gold Macaws, Green Winged Macaws and other species were brought from other states.
The state government had spent a total of Rs 5.39 crore on these animals during the two year-period.
While answering to the question, as to how many animals and birds had died during the past two years, the Minister omitted the three Giraffes, three Impalas and some other animals’ deaths which occurred during January, February last year which were brought from abroad.
The Minister informed that out of the total 22 animals from abroad, 5 animals had died which included two Alpacas, two Lamas and a Wallaby.
While 41 animals including 29 Conures, a ring tailed Lemur, a Marmoset and some exotic birds were lost during the span of 2 years.