It’s baby boom in city zoo
TNN 22 August 2009, 04:38am IST
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LUCKNOW: The maternity ward of the city zoo has been busy this year right since January. Several families have been blessed with new arrivals and if all goes well, happy tidings will keep pouring in.
Starting from leopards, they now make a complete picture of a happy family. The two newborns frolic around their mother all the time. The attachment is visible. The newborns roll over their mother, Dia, who fondles them for their every mischief. Born in June, the cubs will be with their mother in the same enclosure till they get six months old and come of age. “They are already growing up quite well,” said zoo director Renu Singh. The father, Akbar, fondly called Akbar Allahabadi, has been shifted to another enclosure, but certainly cubs are not out of sight for him. The pair seems to cherish every moment of its young ones’ growth.
Zoo had waited with bated breath when Dia and Akbar were paired in January 2007. Both were rescued leopards, brought to zoo at different points of time. Both were wild initially and there were worries whether the two would accept each other. The anxiety increased when for a year the female did not conceive. But, the birth of cubs put all the doubts to rest.
This year has been an expansion time for several of zoo families. Be it the crocodiles or porcupines. The old pair of crocodile which has been in zoo since 1997 gave birth to ten young ones this time. The pair has already bred twice in the past. In 1997, it gave birth to eight progenies and about 14 young ones in 2008. Including the new arrivals in the family, the pair are now proud parents to 24 young ones. On the other hand, even porcupine family got blessed with a baby. There are already five porcupines in city zoo, a male, two females and two babies. The new addition now makes it a family of six.
In fact, 2009 started on a right note at zoo and baboon family became the first to be blessed with a newborn. The little baboon, Moja, got a sibling to play with in January itself when Rosy, the mother of Moja, gave birth to a baby. Rosy was brought to Lucknow six years ago from Mysore zoo. Her first baby was born in 2005 but her partner, the male baboon, much older to her in age, had killed the newborn. The pair had its second baby in 2007 and she was fondly named `Moja’ which means `Princess’ in African language. In January this year, Rosy gave birth to her third baby.
Now, zoo is keeping its fingers crossed over some happy tidings coming in from tigers. If all goes well, there might be additions in tiger families as well. The tiger pairs of zoo have mated successfully this year. And this holds true for both the Royal Bengal tigers — Shishir and Ipsita, and the white tigers — Sona and Aryan.
A baby is expected from white tigers since long. Aryan is normal but Sona has had given birth to many pre-mature cubs. It was in 2001 that she was brought from Kanpur zoo as a prospective partner for Aryan, who was born to the white tigers in Lucknow. Aryan also had a sibling — Shweta — who was sent to Kanpur zoo in exchange of Sona. Initially, it was not planned to mate Aryan and Shweta. Sona had given birth to stillborn cubs in the past. This time the pair has mated, but any news on Sona’s pregnancy is still awaited. “We can say on that only after it is confirmed and not just on the basis of mating,” said director.
On February 14, the Valentine’s Day, even Shishir and Ipsita were moved in the same enclosure. The Royal Bengal tigers pair came from Nandan Kanan zoo in 2007 and if they could give birth to a cub this time, it will be an achievement of sorts for the Lucknow zoo since not a single Royal Bengal cub has been born here for long. Here again, the good news is awaited after successful mating.
The zebras, Ash and Chetak, too were put together in the same enclosure on the Valentine’s Day. The two had been living separately after Ash gave birth to a young one about a year back. Another pair which was brought together for mating after Royal Bengal tigers and zebra was that of Sarus Cranes. The male and female were living separately after the birth of their chick but now the young sarus has been given a different enclosure and its parents have been moved in together again. “We are hoping the best from all pairs,” said zoo director.