Two leopard cubs born in Indian zoo

Double delight for Zoo after 26 years

Express News Service
First Published : 23 Feb 2010 02:54:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 23 Feb 2010 09:24:19 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: It is after two decades and a half that Nandankanan Zoo has been successful in breeding leopards. On Sunday night, a wildcaught pair gave birth to two cubs, much to the delight of animal park authorities.

It was in 1984 that the zoo had last seen a successful pairing of leopards.
The cubs were born to Barsha and Suraj, both rescued from the wild and given a new home in the Zoo.

Nandankanan, currently, has four leopards, in two pairs and if the two cubs make it beyond the first few days of vulnerability, it will add to the stock.

The newborns have been kept out of public display and are being treated with utmost care.

“Attention to temperature, diet of the mother and least human interference are being ensured by the staff,’’ Zoo Director Sudarshan Panda said.

Interestingly, the zoo always enjoyed a good population of leopards because most of the cats, abandoned in the wild by their mothers, were rehabilitated in the animal park.

In fact, in 2005, Barsha was rescued from Munduli by the Chandaka officials and given a home at Nandankanan Zoo. A year before, Suraj was brought to the zoo after found abandoned in Bhanjanagar forests.

In most cases, the leopards which were rehabilitated at the Zoo were in the stage of infancy.

Ironic as it may sound the zoo still found it difficult to find a breedable pair.
According to Panda, compatibility was an issue for the pairs the zoo was in possession of. “However, we are hopeful that the newborns would survive the first few days. Although all possible measures have been put in place, we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” he said.

The mother leopard has been put on chicken instead of buffalo meat for the next few days.

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Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at https://bigcatrescue.org

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