Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lioness gives birth ot 5 cubs at Rajkot zoo.

The Rajkot Zoo became richer with the arrival of three lion cubs on Tuesday evening. Born to 'Masti', aged three and a half years, all three cubs are in healthy condition. With the birht of these cubs, Rajkot zoo becomes another zoo having some population of Asiatic Lions in Gujarat. In Junagadh zoo, there are about 40 lions, while the number has reached to 11 at Rajkot zoo.

While talking to TOI, Dr. M G Maradia, zoo superintendent at Aji dam informed, 'We had brought male lion 'Viral' form Junagadh zoo on a breeding loan. Viral, 10, has a wild origin since it was caught form Gir forest. The cubs will also have wild jeans in them due to their father's origin. We had to bring in the lion from Junagadh following the rules that prohibit in-breeding- breeding in the same family.'

Viral was brought from junagadh zoo in September 2007 and after a gestation period of 108 days, Masti gave birth to the cubs. The mother is taking good care of the cubs and is feeding them properly, eliminating possibilities of infanticide in this case as it is usual phenomenon in wild animals to kill their offspring. Dr. Maradia added that generally a female lion gives birth to around 2 to 4 cubs at a time and the average weight of a new-born cub is between 800 and 1200 gms.

Meanwhile, sources in zoo said Masti's sister 'Moj' is also expecting and is expected to deliver in mid-March.

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