Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chhabtir roars and chirps.

CHANDIGARH: A seven-year-old Asiatic lion, a pair of leopards, white peacocks, white spoonbill birds, long-legged wading birds and two pairs of white Ibis have joined Chhatbir zoological park from Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagarh, Gujarat,

Manish Kumar, field director, Chhatbir zoo, said Yuvraj, the lion, has been quarantined for a month and would be released in the zoo safari. Yuvraj's arrival comes five months after the death of Abhay, an Asiatic lion that Chhatbir zoo had procured on a breeding loan from New Delhi. Yuvraj would be introduced to lioness Heli, who last year had given birth to four cubs. His arrival has pushed the number of lions to eight, which includes the aged Rocky. It was the birth of four cubs that apparently helped the zoo break the Central Zoo Authority of India regulation on the transfer of lions.

"The authority had stopped the exchange for the time being. We then had a population of cross-breds of African and Asiatic lions. This was long ago. Now, our zoo is among those running breeding programmes. Since we had been able to take the cubs from Heli after treatment, it made us easy to secure Yuvraj. Else, it is very difficult to get a pure Asiatic lion for breeding purposes,'' said Kumar. "Though leopards and Asiatic lions are our main animals, the addition of white peacock and white spoonbill will add variety. We had a pair of white peacocks a long time back but it is for the first time when visitors will see a white Ibis," he added.

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