Giraffe at Statue of Unity Safari Park died of ‘shock’ for reasons including long travel and changed climate: PCCF Gujarat

Gandhinagar/Kevadia:The reason behind the death of a giraffe brought from South Africa in yet to be opened Zoological Park and Safari ( popularly referred to as Safari Park Zoo) close to the statue of unity near Kevadia in Narmada district of central Gujarat was ‘shock’ caused by various factors including a long travel, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest & Chief Wildlife Warden of the state Shyamal Tikadar today said.

The Kevadia Zoological Park and Safari will cover 558,240 square metres on the right bank of the Narmada River, about 2 kilometre from the SoU, the 182 m tall world’s highest idol. The park will be home to more than 170 species of fauna, covering various biomes of Africa, Australia, Asia and America. Visitors will also be able to spot India‚Äôs endangered species, which includes the magnificent big cats such as Asiatic lion, Royal Bengal Tiger and Leopard. The safari route has been designed such that the visitors can view animal activities, spot reptiles and watch birds.

The giraffe, one of the many animals including lions, tigers, leopards, various types of deer and antelopes, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, bisons, and other exotic animals brought from over a dozen different countries to be kept in the zoo Safari Park, had died 3 days ago on Tuesday. It was brought in the park almost 20 days back. Two Impalas brought in the park from abroad had died over three weeks back reportedly due to their inability to adapt to the new climate.

The death of the giraffe in the yet to be opened park which is part of one of the pet projects of PM Narendra Modi had put the forest officials on a defence mode of sorts.

Tikadar today said that the vet doctors have concluded that the animal died due to shock caused by many reasons including a long travel from one country to the other and sudden change in climate.

Conservator of the forests (wildlife) of Kevadia, Dr K Sasikumar, however, said that he was not aware of the exact reason of the death of the animal and only higher-ups could throw light on it.

On being asked if the vets have found Peracute Mortality Syndrome/Serous Fat Atrophy and Sudden Death as the reason behind the death in which captive giraffes are predisposed to this mysterious syndrome that causes sudden death without pre- existing evidence of disease or illness, both Tikadar and Sasikumar refused to have this technical information.

Meanwhile a team of vets have been deployed in the Safari park to monitor the animals brought from abroad. As a precautionary measure the place where the Giraffe died has been sanitized with chemicals.

Safari park which is being developed as part of a world-class zoo, is part of the plan to make the region near the Statue of Unity a major tourist attraction.

Notably, the state government was also trying to get back the 3 Chimpanzees for the Safari park which were reportedly brought illegally from abroad and due to legal reasons have been kept in the Alipore zoo of Kolkata.

SoU has so far attracted over 28 lakh visitors in almost one year of its unveiling. It is likely to attract double that number in next one year. PM Modi has instructed the authorities to develop the region as a major tourism hub.


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