Saturday, February 28, 2015
Bonding period raises hope of rise in lion population at Etawah safari.
KANPUR: The encouraging signs of the first 'bonding period', among the three pairs of Asiatic Lion (Panthera Leo Persica) has made Etawah Lion Safari officials hopeful of further increase in the population in coming days. They are hopeful that second mating session would lead to off springs in July.
In fact, officials have been trying to create atmosphere conducive to mating of three pairs of Asiatic Lions— Manan and Kumari, Kuber and Greeshma, and Heer and Gigo.
"Kumari, Greeshma and Gigo were shifted from their quarantine for five days each in January for a bonding period with their male counterparts Manan, Kuber and Heer. However, as it was their first attempt, it didn't yield much result. Now if all goes well, another attempt will be made soon so that they become partners for life," said senior veterinary officer Dr Kuldeep Dwivedi.
About Manan and Kumari, "We could tell both liked each other as they came near each other for nearly 30 times, but somehow they didn't mate," said another Lion Safari official.
Kuber and Greeshma showed some breeding behaviors but they too didn't bond. "Greeshma was a little nervous. Both moved into the breeding area as that was new to them, but didn't mate," he said.
Heer and Gigo maintained a distance of nearly 100 metres and didn't exhibit any positive sign of bonding, he added further.
Once bonded, the female will take 110 days to reproduce an offspring. The Lion Safari authorities also exude confidence about the second mating session and said they hope that if all goes well, the population of big cat would grow by July. "If Kumari, Greeshma and Gigo gets pregnant, then we expect them to give birth to cubs in July," said a Lion Safari official further.
The Lion Safari authorities have installed CCTV cameras in the breeding area to monitor the behavioural signs of three pairs of Asiatic Lions.
The Closed-Circuit Television Camera footages were being utilized for carrying out observations on the Asiatic Lions. "The breeding centre is equipped with CCTV cameras to study animal behaviour. The CCTV is a good tool to observe pair in the breeding area without disturbing them," said another officer further while talking to TOI.
Listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) was once widely distributed across southwest Asia.