Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tripura captive breeding at zoo fetches three lion cubs

TNN | Agartala: The Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary of Tripura created history two days ago. For the first time in 30 years, the park, which was later transformed into a sanctuary, welcomed three lion cubs and 10 baby pythons in one day.

Sanctuary officials said Sepahijala had a 22-year-old lion. In July last year, the zoo authorities brought one male and one female lion from Bannerghatta National Park of Karnataka under an animal exchange programme conducted by the Central Zoo Authority.

The lioness gave birth to triplets on June 9 in the zoo hospital. The cubs and their mother were reported to be fit and healthy, said chief wildlife warden AK Gupta. He added that the population of lions has gone up to six in the sanctuary now.

Sanctuary authorities also found a python had given birth to 10 snakelets. He added, "Normally, pythons hatch after 90 days, but in this case the snakes were out in 45 days and found to be healthy."

Tripura forest minister Naresh Jamatia said Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary had brought four pairs of animals, including lions, sambars, black bucks and porcupines, under the animal exchange programme of Central Zoo Authority last year from Bannerghatta.

Tripura sent three Phayre's leaf monkeys, popularly called spectacled monkey (one male, two females), three pig-tailed macaques (one male, two females) and two Himalayan bears to Bannerghatta Park in exchange.

He expressed concern over the future of Asiatic lions, whose surviving population is confined to Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat, and authorities are not willing to exchange the species.

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