The Punjab Wildlife Department has not yet been able to secure a permit from CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which could cause a delay in importing animals for Lahore Zoo, stated director Hassan Sukhera in April 2018.
Previously, the department had decided to allocate Rs 13 million for importing several animals, including an elephant, a giraffe, sea horses, a Bengal tiger and a rhinoceros, to restore the zoo to its former glory. Two separate firms were tasked with this responsibility; however, neither of them has been able to obtain the permit, he said.
Despite the hurdles, the Lahore Zoo administration remains hopeful and aims to have all the animals imported by June of this year, he maintained.
Apart from a CITES permit, which allows for the import and export of exotic and endangered animals, it is also necessary to have import and export permits.
Internationally, there exists a ban on importing sea creatures, animals and birds which are on the brink of extinction or are vulnerable. If a country wishes to import such creatures, they need to assure concerned authorities that the species will be bred to produce further generations, he said.
After a thorough inspection and inquiry into the matter, the country from where the animals are being imported from, grants a CITES permit. Following this, you need to obtain another separate certificate from your own country, he revealed.