Chimps from Singapore to be New Year attraction at Mysore Zoo

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MYSORE: Two chimpanzees from Singapore will be Mysore’s New Year attraction.

It is some four weeks that the Mysore Zoo received a pair of chimps from the Singapore Zoo and is getting ready to display the primates. The two new guests, Nkosi and Kimoni, which arrived in Mysore facility from Singapore on December 1 have adjusted to Mysore weather and to the animal keepers.

Given that the mandatory one-month quarantine period is drawing to a close and that the chimps have attuned to the local conditions, the zoo authorities are planning to allow them for the public view in January first week. “They are behaving well and acclimatized to the local conditions. We are planning to introduce the new guests to the visitors in early January,” sources told The Times of India.

The star attraction could take the record footfall of 3.35 million during 2012-13 to a new level. The zoo had registered 30, 35,877 between April 2012 and March 2013 as against 30,33,032 between April, 2011 to March, 2012. The visitors flow is on the rise since three years and chimps could take it to a new level like the green anacondas from Sri Lanka which attracted tourists in hordes.

Before releasing them in an open moat, biomedical tests will be conducted and the quarantine certification authorities will visit the zoo for certification. A senior animal keeper from Singapore Zoo, who accompanied with them, stayed put here for five days and trained the local staff in management of chimps and educated them about feeding and housing aspects. Except for four days when they were drowsy after they were shipped from Singapore, they are active and playing, sources noted. The zoo has continued with the diet chart like at Singapore extending them fruits, especially apples and added some others which they feed the four chimps housed at the zoo. “We offered them bread, which they liked. Now tea and bread are part of their diet chart,” they noted.

Having been trained in English, the staff, especially animal keepers, were apprehensive how they will respond to commands in Kannada. “Though we continue to use English when we communicate with them, they have picked up Kannada quite fast. They now respond when we talk to them in Kannada,” a senior official stated adding chimps are intelligent creatures.

Nkosi is aged a little over thirteen years and Kimoni is six years old, which the conservation has got in exchange for sloth bear and lion-tailed macaque. The last time the zoo got chimps was from Sweden in 1994.

Though the zoo’s success rate in captive breeding on endangered species is high, it has not bred chimps in the recent past though it is housing four chimps. The Singapore chimps have now has brightened the prospects of breeding.

The official said they will observe the activities of Singapore chimps for three months before deciding to allow them to join the four chimps housed in the zoo for over a decade. As of now, the Singapore chimps will be kept separately in a moat, the official stated. The zoo will get a female chimp Bianta in mid-2015 from Singapore. At present she is nursing her offspring. Though Bianta was scheduled to arrive here with the two, she was not spared as she is taking care of her offspring.

He is a Software Engineer from Moodbidri currently living in Kuwait. He likes to travel and post interesting things about technology. He is the designer of Kannadigaworld.com. You may follow him on FB at fb.com/alanpaladka

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