Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 19:
After a 6-year-long wait, the authorities of the Nandankanan zoo on the outskirts of Odisha’s capital city, have finally made arrangements to bring five pairs of white-backed vultures from the vulture breeding centre in Assam in consultation with the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India.
A special team of officials of Nandankanan would bring the vultures from Assam after the southwest monsoon is active in the state, sources in the zoo said.
It may be mentioned that the white-backed vultures were in abundance in Odisha. However, their number came down drastically after the 1999 super cyclone. Over the last 10 years white-backed vultures have not been sighted in the state except in Athmallick area in Angul district and Anandpur area in Keonjhar district.
In an effort to raise their numbers, the Nandankanan authorities had opened a vulture breeding centre at the Botanical Garden premises of the zoo in 2008.
However, the there was no breeding activity in the centre for six years as the zoo authorities had failed to get a pair of these species.
With the help of the CZA, the Nandankanan authorities have now arranged five-pairs of vultures (five male and five female) from the vulture breeding centre in Assam. The birds will arrive only after the onset of monsoon.
Talking to OST, a senior zoo official said that raising the number of vulture is a longdrawn process as a female vulture lays only one egg in a year.
A female vulture generally attains reproductive status in 5 to 6 years which continues up to 25 years.
“Since the vultures to be brought from Assam are 5/6-years old, it would be easier for us to raise their numbers at the breeding centre. With this, Nandankanan would play a major role in the increase of their numbers in Odisha”, the official informed.