Alipore Zoo plans to launch fishing cat conservation / breeding project

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The West Bengal state animal is expected to increase its numbers soon. The Alipore Zoological Garden plans to launch a conservation breeding project for fishing cats considered a “vulnerable” species on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The fishing cat belongs to the small species of wild cats that are commonly found near swamps, marshes, dead lakes, tidal streams, and mangroves. Having the scientific name of ‘Prionailurus viverrinus’, it is a nocturnal animal whose numbers would decrease over time due to increased conflicts with humans.

Alipore Zoological Garden currently has around 12 of these fishing cats. Of the total, three were kept in enclosures to provide visitors with a view of the animals. The others are generally used for breeding purposes.

In view of this fact, the zoo authorities are considering a breeding project to allow the animal to be preserved in the state and have received local authorities. For this, the zoo authorities have now sent a proposal to the Zoo Authority of India awaiting approval.

According to official sources, once implemented and successful, the project will help increase the number of “vulnerable” species in the state. Once approved, zoo authorities must build additional enclosures for the state animal. Plans are also being considered to hire researchers in the field who could help conduct a detailed animal study.

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