Sakkarbaug zoo plays host to African cheetahs after six decades

The 146-year-old Sakkarbaug zoo of Junagadh became the only one in the country to accommodate the African Cheetah with the arrival of two pairs of the big cat on Sunday.

Zoo director V J Rana said, "Both the pairs arrived from a Singapore zoo. The animals reached here safely and are in quite good health. They have been kept in quarantine."

The animals were brought under the exchange of wild animals programme. Earlier on March 24, three Asiatic lions were dispatched to Singapore from here.

"With their arrival, the Sakkarbaug zoo now holds the distinction of being the only zoo in India to have African cheetahs," Rana added.

The zoo was home to the cheetah till 1946 when the last animal of this species died.

Junagadh-based historian and professor Pradhyman Khachar said: "Nawabs, the erstwhile rulers of Junagadh, were fond of wild animals. They loved animals so much so that they named various roads and areas of the city after different animals. Even today these names exist, like the Cheetah-Khana Chowk."

Apart from the cheetah-Khana Chowk, there are Haathi Khana (after elephant) and Genda Agad (after rhinos) roads and areas still known by the same name in Junagadh.

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