Several experts, who spoke to The Asian Age, said that the animal exchange programmes are recommended to avoid highly inbred gene.
Mumbai: While the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) is in the process of acquiring a pair of Asiatic lions from Sakkarbaug zoo, the experts have said, “the animal exchange programme which is now a frequent phenomenon in India is a successful process.” Appreciating the SGNP’s move, experts said that it is a successful way of mating the animals and healthy way of increasing their population.
Several experts, who spoke to The Asian Age, said that the animal exchange programmes are recommended to avoid highly inbred gene. They also stated that such programmes are basically conducted for heterozygosity which means change in the gene pool. In cases of captive animals chances of weak offspring being born are high and hence exchange programmes are being conducted. Shailesh Pethe, Veterinarian of SGNP, said, “Introduction of new animal (whether male or female) causes reverse heterozygosity thereby guarantying better survival of offsprings.”
The SGNP in 2006 had brought two Tigers in the park named Palash and Basanti. Both these animals were brought in from different forests from Madhya Pradesh. They reproduced three offsprings. Kazveen Umrigar, a zoo consultant said, “The animal exchange programmes help in a reducing the number of surplus animals in zoos.”