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Asiatic Lions For Mysore Zoo

A pair of lions from Junagadh's Sakkarbaug Zoo will be given to Mysore Zoo in exchange for other animals, said forest department officials, adding that all technical and administrative formalities in this regard have been completed. The exchange, to take place soon, between the two zoos comes in the wake of a request made in this connection a few months ago to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi by legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble.

According to V J Rana, director of forest department-managed Sakkarbaug Zoo, a pair of  Asiatic lions will be given to Mysore Zoo in exchange for birds and some mammals. "Mysore Zoo will give us Indian bison, common marmoset, giant squirrel, Lady Amhrest pheasant, Kalij pheasant and green pheasant. The exchange of the animal and bird species will take place in the last week of January 2011," Rana said.

"A new facility to accommodate the birds and the mammal is being made at the zoo. They will be on public display from February 2011," he added. Zoo officials said, till now about 170 lions have been given to other zoos in India and abroad as part of exchange programmes.

The Sakkarbaug Zoo has over 1,000 different species of animals including a cheetah, which was brought from Singapore in exchange for an Asiatic lion. There are four cheetahs in the zoo, of which two are males and two females.