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Jallo Park wildlife to get a boost

January 05, 2007

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LAHORE, Jan 4: A 10-acre piece of land is being reserved in the Jallo Park to upgrade the wildlife there and to turn the place into an extensive breeding centre with the induction of new animals, sources in the Punjab Wildlife Department told Dawn on Friday.

The sources said six pairs of sambors and as many of spotted deer would be brought to the park for breeding. The off-springs of these animals, otherwise extinct in Pakistan, would later be sent to various wildlife parks and zoos in Punjab, they added.

A part of Jallo Park that spans over 43 acres has been given to the PWD, which is now considered one of the best animal breeding places in Pakistan. The provincial wildlife department is putting efforts for the extension of the wildlife area in the park.

PWD sources said out of these 43 acres, 10 were being reserved for the purpose, and the proposal for extension of the area would soon be approved by the chief minister.

The breeding of sambors and deer takes place twice a year; first in October- November and then in May-June.

Among the new animals being brought at Jallo, giraffes are at top of the list. The wildlife department was purchasing three giraffes from Africa, out of which a pair would be kept at Jallo, while a female would go to Lahore Zoo, the sources said.

Since the last giraffe at the Lahore Zoo had died after swallowing a plastic bag, the authorities concerned recently banned such bags inside the zoo.

Sources said new birds were also being imported. A number of indigenous birds, such as peacocks and pheasants, would also be added to the Jallo Park, they added.

The spotted deer is the most commonly-found member of the deer family in India. It is found across the entire country except in the extreme northern regions. They are mostly seen in large herds of 30-50 females with a few stags. However, it is not uncommon to see large herds of bachelors numbering up to 100 in areas such as the grasslands. Their life expectancy ranges from 20-30 years. Despite being one of the favourite species of predators such as tigers and leopards, and only giving birth to a single fawn at a time, their population is quite large. This deer species had become extinct in Pakistan, PWD officials said.