Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Asiatic lions to roar again at Mysuru zoo
Updated: August 2, 2016 06:00 IST
Asiatic lions will roar again at Mysuru zoo as two big cats from Sakkarbaug and Rajkot zoos in Gujarat are likely to make it their new home soon.
Renitha, a lioness from Sakkarbaug zoo in Junagadh, which breeds Asiatic lions in captivity, will soon be brought to Mysuru zoo under an animal exchange programme. “The lioness will be brought in the next few days as all the formalities have been completed,” said Kamala Karikalan, executive director of Mysuru zoo. She told The Hindu that a proposal was sent to Rajkot zoo seeking a male lion and the officials there have agreed. “If this proposal with Rajkot zoo too materialises, the zoo will get a pair of young lions and it will be useful for us in stepping up captive breeding of the endangered species,” Ms. Kamala said.
In return, Mysuru zoo will be giving a pair of black swans, two Indian grey wolves and a pair of sun conure birds, she said.
The Asiatic lion is listed as an endangered species, surviving only in Gir forest in Gujarat. Sakkarbaug zoo is well known for breeding them and later releasing them into Gir forest.
Five years ago, Mysuru zoo received a pair of lions from Sakkarbaug zoo under the exchange programme. The lioness, Gowri, suffered a health problem and did not recover fully despite constant treatment. Gowri delivered a cub, which died sometime later. Gowri is now not displayed to the public.
Mysuru zoo had Asiatic lions in 1989 but they could not breed. Rakshitha and Darshan, both of whom were cross-bred, are the two other lions at the zoo.
Only a few zoos in the country have housed the Asiatic lion.