The Tata Zoological Park on Thursday became the only Indian zoo to house lions of pure African origin with the National Zoological Gardens (NSG) at Pretoria in South Africa sending it five one-year-old African cubs, two of whom are males and three females.
All the five lions arrived safely at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport Kolkata and were received by a four-member team of the zoological park. Later the cubs were taken to Jamshedpur in a truck.
The zoo authorities said the cubs would be kept in a special enclosure for 30 days after which they would be open to visitors.
The National Zoological Garden in Pretoria and the Zoological Society in Jamshedpur signed the pact for the cubs’ transfer as part of an exchange programme last year.”It is a long-term collaboration for exchanging surplus animals,”said Bipul Chakraborty, director, Tata Zoological Park.
ILKEEK-LEMEDUNG’I, Kenya — Crouching at dawn in the savannah’s tall grass, the lions tore through the flesh of eight goats. Dogs barked, women screamed and men with the rank of warrior in this village of Maasai tribesman gathered their spears.
Kenya Wildlife Service rangers responded to the attack, but arrived without a veterinarian and no way to tranquilize the eight lions and remove them from Ilkeek-Lemedung’I, a settlement of mud and stone homes not far from the edges of Nairobi National Park.
In the end, the Maasai men — who come from a tribe renowned for its hunting skills — grew tired of waiting, said Charity Kingangir, whose father’s goats were attacked Wednesday. The men speared the lions, killing six: two adult lionesses, two younger lions and two cubs.
The lions had killed eight goats, each worth about $60.
Wednesday’s killings highlight the growing threat to Kenya’s wildlife posed by the rapid expansion of its capital. A week earlier, residents from another village on Nairobi’s outskirts killed a leopard that had eaten a goat. Last month, wildlife service agents shot and killed a lion moving around the Nairobi suburb of Karen. On Thursday, three lions attacked and killed three goats outside Nairobi National Park. Rangers chased the lions back to the park.
Earlier this week, the Kenya Wildlife Service sent out a public notice pleading with people who encounter wild animals “to desist from killing them.”
It summed up the problem in a posting on its Facebook page: “Do animals invade human space, or do humans invade animal space? How can we find tolerance for our wild neighbors? And how can we humanely remove them when they get a bit too close?”
As Nairobi enjoys a boom in apartment and road construction, an expanding population center is putting heavy pressure on the animals, especially big cats. Nairobi National Park is the only wildlife park in the world that lies in a country’s capital.
Killing lions is a crime in Kenya, but those who lose livestock to big cats frequently retaliate. About 100 lions are killed each year, and the country’s lion population has dropped to about 2,000. Lions, especially ones who leave Nairobi National Park, which is not completely fenced in, are at risk. After Wednesday’s killings, the park had 37 left, KWS estimates.
As Nairobi continues to grow, small towns that cropped up on its outskirts expand, fueled by the demand for low-cost housing from the city’s working class.
People are settling in traditional migratory corridors that wildlife from Nairobi’s park have long used to access the plains to the south around Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, or to travel to Kenya’s Maasai Mara in the country’s southwest, said Peter M. Ngau, a professor in the department of urban and regional planning at the University of Nairobi.
The herbivores migrate from the park in search of pasture during the dry season and the carnivores follow, KWS official Ann Kahihia said.
“Unfortunately the carnivores do not know the difference between livestock and wild animals. Once they get livestock they just kill them,” Kahihia said.
KWS Director Julius Kipngetich says the human population in the Kitengela area, where the six lions were killed, was low in the 1990s but has grown dramatically since the opening of an export processing zone there.
Even the annual migration of the wildebeests from Nairobi National Park to the Athi plains to Nairobi’s east has been squeezed by human settlement, he said.
If parliament approves, the Kenyan government will start compensating people whose livestock are maimed or killed as an incentive to spare the attacking animals. KWS spokesman Paul Udoto said the government stopped compensation for wildlife attacks in 1987 after the program was abused.
Kipngetich said other ways of avoiding human-wildlife conflict is to fence parks and compensate at market rates people whose land can be used for conservation purposes.
Jackson Sikeet, who was present during Wednesday’s killing of the lions, said the government should compensate the Maasai for the loss of the goats.
“Otherwise if they don’t, this problem is going to continue every other time,” he said.
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ONE of Dreamworld’s most famous stalwarts, Mohan the white bengal tiger, has passed away.
Mohan, 17, who came to the theme park’s Tiger Island as young cub from the United States, passed away on Wednesday.
Known as the “King of Tiger Island”, Mohan was one of the original tigers introduced to Dreamworld when Tiger Island opened in 1995.
As Mohan paced around his enclosure over the weekend, Tiger Island Manager Patrick Martin-Vegue – who raised him since he was young – said Mohan had been sick for some time.
Mr Martin-Vegue said Mohan had been off his food and had suspected renal failure.
Mohan, whose name meant “charming”, was born on November 2, 1994.
When full-grown he weighed an average of 180kg and was white with light stripes.
Mohan was father to Rama, Sita, Sultan and Tai who were born at Tiger Island in 1998.
Thousands of visitors to Dreamworld viewed or met Mohan during his 17 years at the park.
A portion of proceeds from photos taken with Mohan, and other Tiger Island tigers, go towards Dreamworld’s Wildlife Foundation’s Tiger Island Conservation Fund, which directly supports tigers in the wild.
Dreamworld has donated $1.4 million to saving tigers in the wild since 2006, making the theme park the world’s largest zoological contributor of funds to the 21st century tiger.
Funds raised help with anti-poaching measures, habitat restoration, education and monitoring in tiger populated countries.
Including Mohan, Dreamworld was home to 15 tigers, including nine bengals and six sumatran tigers, of which three litters have been born at Tiger Island.
The latest additions, rare Bengal tiger cubs, Baru and Ravi, arrived at Dreamworld from Sydney in April and are now 15 weeks old.
Bokaro (Jharkhand), June 21 (PTI) A month-old tiger cub died after it accidentally came under the paws of its mother in Jawaharlal Nehru Biological Park, popularly known as Bokaro Zoo, this evening, a Senior Official of Bokaro Steel Plant said. The incident occurred when one cub among the male triplets came under paws of its mother, named Ganga, while food was being served in the afternoon, Sanjay Tiwari, Chief of Communication of the steel plant, said. Tiwari told PTI the death was caused suspectedly due to internal haemorrhage and excessive internal bleeding after a couple of ribs of the cub, named Anthony, were fractured. The Zoo veterinary doctor and staff tried to save the cub but in vain. Earlier, Ganga gave birth to the male triplets including Anthony on May 17 last. Ganga and her partner Satpura were brought to Bokaro Zoo from Maitri Bagh, Bhillai, on January 22 last.
Minnesota Zoo: Only One of Two Newborn Tiger Cubs Survived
Two Amur tiger cubs were born June 17 at the Minnesota Zoo. Only one survived the first few days and is now being hand-raised by zoo staff.
An endangered Amur tiger cub was born at the Minnesota Zoo – and it’s so darn cute, you won’t be able to contain yourself from saying “Awwwww” when you check out the video.
Live web cam here!
Here are the details on the baby’s birth from the zoo’s press release:
Two cubs were born June 17, after an approximately 105 day gestation period. After observing the mother and cubs overnight, Zoo staff decided to pull the cubs for hand raising because the mother was not showing the quality of maternal care that staff felt she needed to successfully raise the cubs. Only one cub – the larger of the two and the second born – survived the critical first few days. Approximately two thirds of Amur tiger cubs survive the first 30 days. The female cub will remain off exhibit while Zoo staff cares for her. This is the first offspring for both parents, mother, Angara and father, Molniy.
The recent recovery of three Royal Bengal Tiger cubs by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from the residence of a wildlife smuggler in the city’s Shyamoli area was a sensational event for millions of animal lovers at home and abroad. The two-month old cubs were captured in the Sundarbans by animal traffickers in connivance with a section of forest officials. A preliminary investigation revealed that the cubs were kept ready for smuggling out of the country. Timely intervention by RAB saved the young tigers. It was also known that the smuggler’s family was connected with a strong global ring of wildlife traffickers. Executive magistrate of RAB AHM Anwar Pasha sentenced two members of the smuggler’s family, Zakir and his mother Jahanara Begum to suffer two years’ jail term as they confessed to their involvement in the crime. But Jahanara’s husband, the prime accused, Abdul Kader and his elder son Masud managed to escape. This is for the first time that the tiger cubs were recovered in Dhaka city. According to
press reports, RAB came to know that the arrested persons were negotiating with a party for selling each cub at taka 2.0 million.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) conducted a survey in 2004 and found that the tiger population in the Sundarbans is 450. This includes 21 cubs. Though the forest department is running a World Bank-aided regional project to check illegal wildlife trading and another scheme to protect tigers from human interference in the Sundarbans, a large gang of local people is reportedly engaged in smuggling out tigers and cubs to an international racket. A section of forest officials is allegedly helping the gang of wildlife smugglers. Forest department sources have told the media that the tiger smugglers abroad have been using a section of local people who are permitted by the authorities concerned to enter the forest for fishing, wood cutting, collecting honey and Golpata. The smugglers hunted a good number of tigers, deer and other animals over the years.
Systematic destruction of forest poses a serious threat to tiger habitation. The forest area has shrunk considerably resulting in shortage of space for tigers. Nearly half a million people earn their livelihood out of the natural resources, now available in the Sundarbans. The forest department estimates that since independence of Bangladesh, 151 tigers were killed. Law enforcers are trying to unearth organised gangs of poachers having links with international smuggling racket. Among the wild animals, tigers have great demand all over the world. About two years ago the government took initiative to approve a protocol between Bangladesh and India to protect tigers in the Sundarbans.
As we told earlier in this column, the forest was badly affected in cyclone Sidr and Aila in 2007 and 2009. The number of tigers in the Sundarbans are fast decreasing as poachers in connivance with a section of unscrupulous forest department officials continue to kill those. Shortage of sweet water and food after cyclonic storms Sidr and Aila battered the Sundarbans has also gravely affected the wildlife. Forest department sources, however, say 440 tigers including 221 adults now inhabit the Sundarbans. The number of Royal Bengal Tigers is decreasing gradually in the absence of a comprehensive plan to protect them. About 15 tiger skins were recovered from November 20 of 2001 to February 16 last year from different parts of the Sundarbans. Recovery of four skulls, three skins and 31 kilogram of bones of tigers from one Jamal Fakir at Banglabazar under Sarankhola upazila of Bagerhat district last year led to intensified vigilance by forest officials to protect the tigers. Poacher Jamal Fakir in a confessional statement in the court later admitted that he had killed Royal Bengal Tigers by poisoning. Jamal Fakir was arrested under section 26(1) of the forest act.