LAHORE: The Lahore Zoo, for the first time, is going to buy a pair of white lions which are not available in any other zoo of the country.

“A white lion fascinates people because of its colour and to add a pair of white lions to the animals at the zoo is all about this fascination factor,” Lahore Zoo Director Hassan Ali told Dawn.

Besides white lions, a pair of white tigers and a pair of leopards are also being purchased by the zoo through an animal supplier company. The work order for the purchase of these animals will soon be issued as the final document is with the Punjab Wildlife Department director general for the approval, according to Lahore Zoo Deputy Director Tanveer Janjua.

Since many people are missing an elephant at the zoo after the death of Suzi, a summary has also been moved by the director general to the wildlife department secretary, say the officials.

Hassan Ali, who has the additional charge of director of the zoo, says improvements are being made for a better upkeep of the new elephant. The zoo has plans to introduce two female elephants but initially a single elephant will be bought due to the budget constraints. A committee, comprising seven professionals related to the wildlife, has also been formed to bring about improvements in the elephant housing facility which is being extended with earth instead of concrete.

To the question whether the new elephant would be chained like the practice by the zoon in the past, Mr Ali says after objections were raised by international forums on chaining the elephant the practice of chaining the elephant was abandoned some five years ago.

“We are trying our best to bring in a tame elephant so that chaining can be avoided,” says the director.

The administration is working on a plan of running a shuttle service between the Lahore Zoo to Lahore Zoo Safari and Jallo Safari, he says, however, adding that the move is connected with new animal purchase which could not be done in the last two years owing to certain constraints. He claims the work on the scheme has started and it might be functional by 2019.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2017

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