Source ::: THE PENINSULA
Web posted at: 10/28/2006 2:43:57
DOHA — A rare sight of a lion’s cub and a baby deer playing together is attracting huge crowds to Doha Zoo these days.
The cub and the deer were born at the Zoo on the same day in February this year and the zoo authorities decided to put them together in a small enclosure.
The zoo officials have also put up pictures of the two animals which were taken at their birth. The cub is from the family of the ferocious African lions, while the cute-looking baby deer is from the Axis family of deer.
“They are staying together from the day they were born,” said a zoo keeper. The keeper is from India and his duty is to keep a watch on the two baby animals. On the slightest suspicion of things going wrong or the cub getting violent, he is there to show a stick to discipline it.
But so far the cub has shown no violence. “Both of them are very fond of each other and seem to be heartily enjoying each other’s company,” said another zoo keeper. Most of the time, they are seen playing with each other.
Many visitors, especially those with children, could be seen taking pictures with their small cameras near the enclosure where the cub and the baby deer are kept.
“Osma finds it very exciting,” said a Sudanese expatriate who was at the zoo with wife and two children, waving at his five-year-old son. “It’s indeed a rare sight, but the two animals cannot be expected to stay together longer,” he said.
“Deer is the staple food of lions, but for the cub to grow into a full-fledged lion it would take two years or so,” he said.
The zoo authorities have added some new features and they are also attracting large crowds. Free camel and horse rides are being offered to children.
“We came here early in the afternoon and my children are not willing to leave the zoo even after four hours,” said another expatriate family. “Children are finding the rides very fascinating,” he added.
A one-and-a-half meter python with black and brown stripes is born at the zoo recently and it is also one of the major attractions. People can touch it. Children, especially, are finding it extremely fascinating.
“They (children) are initially scared, but once we are touching the snake, they are encouraged to follow suit,” said an Indian who was at the zoo with wife and three children.
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