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Biodiversity & Environment

Nandankanan Zoological Park: Odisha

  • 19 Sep 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, death of two sloth bears have been reported from the Nandankanan Zoological Park, Bhubaneswar (Odisha).

  • The exact cause of deaths is not yet known. Earlier, a 28-year-old Himalayan black bear died probably due to old age as bears are known to live for about 30 years.

Key Points

  • Nandankanan Zoological Park:
    • It is 15 kms from Odisha's capital, Bhubaneswar. It was inaugurated in 1960.
    • First zoo in the country to become a member of the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums (WAZA).
      • WAZA is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.
    • It is recognized as a leading zoo for the breeding of the Indian pangolin and white tiger.
      • Leopards, mouse deer, lions, ratel and vultures are also bred here.
    • It was the world’s first captive crocodile breeding centre, where gharials were bred in captivity in 1980.
    • The State Botanical Garden of Nandankanan is one of the pioneering plant conservation and nature education centres of Odisha.
  • Sloth Bears:
    • Scientific Name: Melursus ursinus
    • Habitat: Also called honey bear, Hindi bhalu, it is a forest-dwelling member of the family Ursidae (comprises 8 species of bears) that inhabits tropical or subtropical regions of India and Sri Lanka.
    • Protection Status:
    • Threats: Habitat loss, poaching for body parts and are sometimes captured for use in performances or hunted because of their aggressive behavior and destruction of crops.
  • Himalayan Black Bear:
    • Scientific Name: Ursus thibetenus
    • Habitat: Also called Asiatic black bear, it inhabits mountainous and heavily forested areas across southern and eastern Asia.
    • Protection Status:
      • ‘Vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List.
      • Appendix I in CITES listing.
      • Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
    • Threats: Illegal hunting for body parts, specifically the gallbladder, paws and skiing poses the main threat, together with habitat loss caused by logging, expansion of human settlements and roads.

Source: TH

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