Hyderabad: An Asiatic male lion cub was born a couple of days ago at Hyderabad Nehru zoological park besides a a male baby rhino was born on July 5. So far, as many as 46 endangered species of animals, birds and reptiles have been born in the last year at the zoo. The Nehru zoological park has also been named as the second best zoo in the country after the Mysore zoo, specifically in terms of conservation and reproduction of endangered species like the Asiatic lions, Royal Bengal tigers, leopards, rhinos, emus and pheasants by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA). The 46 endangered species which were born include four Royal Bengal tigers, three Asiatic lions, two Indian jaguar, one rhino, one hippo, five mouse deers and some birds and reptiles, according to the records of the Nehru zoological park.
The CZA has been enjoying its success courtesy its system of reproducing endangered and threatened species by loaning and exchanging animals among the 106 zoos in the country. P Mallikarjuna Rao, director of AP Zoological Parks informed, “In that process, the vulture breeding centre was also set up at Nehru Zoological Park and Rs 41lakh was funded by CZA in 2009. But no vulture has been born yet” And it isn’t just the exchange programme or the funds that seem to be in the zoo park’s favour. “The Hyderabad zoo has been breeding a good number of animals due to its medium temperature and spacious zoo,” explained P Srinivas Reddy, the Nehru zoo’s veterinary assistant surgeon.
He further added that though the exchange programme, a sizeable number of animals, birds and reptiles have been brought in. With the new arrivals, the Hyderabad zoo has bred lion cubs, tiger cubs, pheasants and emus in the last one year. “In the coming six months, there will be more cubs as two tigers, two lions and three emus are pregnant,” he stated. Under the guidelines of the CZA for animal exchange, the zoo received north and north-eastern species like five pairs of Spoon Bills, a pair of Marmosets and a pair of Bhutan Lorry pheasant from the Alipore zoo in Kolkata. In February this year, three cheetahs were brought from the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic. In August last year, a pair of rhinos were brought from Patna.
The Nehru zoological park has also been named as the second best zoo in the country after the Mysore zoo.
In return, the Hyderabad zoo also has gifted animals to other zoos, as per the terms of the animal exchange programme, informed Dr Srinivas. “When the new species are brought to the zoo, they are provided artificial atmosphere for at least a month, so as to get accustomed to the new area. If the animals do not get accustomed, they are sent back to where they came from. This is because they cannot breed if they do not get accustomed to their surroundings,” he said.
Zoo officials are trying to increase their captive populations for many reasons like conservation, exhibition, research and zoo education. The goal of most captive breeding programmes for endangered species is to establish captive populations that are large enough to be demographically stable and genetically healthy.