The initiative was taken to fill the gap created by the natural death of animals
The import of a total of 25 animals for the National Zoo in the capital's Mirpur has come to a halt due to the raging pandemic and subsequent hike in transportation cost.
According to the contractors, the global Covid infection is a bar to bringing in those animals.
Some countries have agreed to send the animals, but it is not possible to start importation under the present circumstances due to rise in costs.
In April last, the National Zoo authorities had given four Dhaka-based companies the responsibility to purchase 25 animals for Tk2 crore.
A number of four companies were awarded the contract to buy African lions, rhinos, kangaroos, wild beasts, greater kudu, llamas and monkeys.
The zoo authorities said the initiative was taken to fill the gap created by the natural death of animals at the zoo.
Due to Covid, the timeframe for import was extended several times while the latest deadline is 26 November, but the contractors said it would not be possible for them to finish the job within the scheduled time.
An official concerned of the zoo told The Business Standard, "We are in regular contact with the contractors. Attempts are being made to bring those animals within the extended timeline."
One of the contractors Sohel Ahmed, owner of Falcon Traders, told TBS that he had been assigned to import five llamas.
"I have been keeping in touch with the suppliers in the Netherlands."
Sohel said earlier the suppliers informed him that they could not send the animals as flight was shut, and now they are saying the cost will be higher due to rise in airfare.
The zoo authorities will not let me raise the price anymore, he said, asking, "How shall I bring those animals at the previous price?"
Sohel added that the issue was reported to the curator of the zoo who agreed to hold talks with the contractors on 28 November.
The other three companies Luptex Limited, Seenan Birds Breeding Farm and Hor & Company, responsible for importing animals, are in the same situation as Falcon Traders.
Waliur Rahman, information officer at the National Zoo, told TBS that all preparations have been made, including cages for the animals, so that they can adapt to the new environment in a short period of time.
After remaining closed for 225 days due to the pandemic, the National Zoo was opened to the public on 1 November on a number of conditions, including following health rules. At the time of closure, 115 babies of different animals were born there.
There are 2,792 animals in the zoo built on a 16-acre of land.