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Karachi zoo welcomes rare pythons
Publication Date : 19-02-2013
KARACHI: Pakistani customs handed over 31 highly rare and endangered species of pythons to the Karachi Zoological Gardens on February 17. The consignment included one Python curtus, three Boa constrictors, 14 Python regius and 13 Python reticulatus. Two of the pythons are adults - one is 17 feet long and the other 12 feet - while the rest are young ones.
Pakistani customs handed over 31 highly rare and endangered species of pythons to the Karachi Zoological Gardens on February 17.
The pythons, caught a few days ago, were given to zoo officials for safekeeping till the issue of their ‘import’ was resolved, said a customs official.
The consignment included one Python curtus, three Boa constrictors, 14 Python regius and 13 Python reticulatus. Two of the pythons are adults - one is 17 feet long and the other 12 feet - while the rest are young ones.
The pythons were handed over by Jinnah International Airport customs chief Yaqoob Mako to Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) chief Mohammad Hussain Syed, and then moved into the Reptile House in the zoo and put on display. A large number of wildlife lovers visited the zoo to see the new inmates.
Officials remarked how the Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) representatives were not present at the airport on February 17, and the pythons had to be directly handed over to the KMC officials - a procedure that was opposed by the SWD, as well as the zoo chief on Saturday.
The interdepartmental miscommunication had prolonged the stay of the reptiles at the airport.
Customs official Rana Aftab said the python consignment was brought in from the US on a flight and had arrived at the airport on February 11.
The 'importer', Sam Farms, could not present any of the mandatory documents, including the quarantine certificate, and a no-objection certificate from the National Council for Conservation of Wildlife of the Ministry of Climate Change, among other requisite certificates.
The firm had been given time to arrange these documents, but it could not do so over past few days, the official added.
He said that as customs did not have any facilities to keep pythons and provide them with a healthy environment, after an initial stay of a few days at the airport, the SWD and zoo officials were called in to be handed over the consignment till the matter was decided.
If all the required documents are soon arranged, then the issue will be settled. However, if that doesn't happen, the consignment would be confiscated and probably gifted to the zoo, the official added.
KMC chief Syed said that the pythons had remained in boxes for the past many days and the first priority was to protect them...all the rules and regulations regarding their move would be met later.