Hyderabad: In a faraway corner of the city, Naveed Qureshi’s farmhouse is home to about 15 exotic swans from various parts of the world.
A third-generation breeder of exotic birds, Naveed was always fascinated with birds since he was quite young. And now, after taking care of and breeding various species of swans for about two decades, Qureshi’s next project is to open a swan park in the city – the first of its kind in Asia.
“Swans are majestic creatures. Currently four species of swans are housed at my farm, which are the Black Swan (Cygnus Atratus), Black Neck Swan (Cygnus Melancoryphus), Mute Swan (Cygnus Olor) and Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus Buccinator). I didn’t know much about the species when I initially got them, however with time I understood much about their requirements, diet, breeding, etc,” Qureshi says.
Interestingly, Qureshi is also credited for the development of a new poultry breed – an exotic variety of Polish chicken without feathers on its neck.
Over the last fifteen years, many people – common and influential – have visited his small swan park. “Their response prompted me to pursue the idea of building this innovative park, where we can house all the seven species of swans from across the world. Also, the government officials have been very helpful and encouraging in this pursuit. Once the details of the park is finalised, I will be importing the other three species of swans to Hyderabad, so that every variety of the bird is available for people to see,” he says.
While they look delicate, these flying waterfowls are quick to adapt to the environment they are shifted to without any issues. However, Qureshi states that they cannot survive in unclean water.
He says, “Most species of swans can only survive in freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, or inlets. In the foreign countries, lakes are comparatively cleaner. Initially, we had chosen Lotus Pond, situated in Banjara Hills, for the project. But due to the presence of a certain type of bacteria in it we couldn’t proceed with our plan. We are on the lookout for a place near Shamshabad where we can make a freshwater lake, which can be easily cleaned and treated. It will take us roughly two years to complete the project.”
Spread over six to seven acres of land, the park will not only be a conservation project but also a great hangout place.
“People do not mind travelling about 50 km to 60 km over the weekend to enjoy some time with their loved ones. We plan to develop about 2,000 to 2,500 square feet of freshwater lake. The rest of the area can be developed as a green park, where we can have a lavish food court for people. The proposed plan also has a spacious parking area for the visitors,” explains Qureshi.
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