Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Shaurya to fuel Mysuru zoo breeding project

Shankar Bennur Mysuru February 25, 2017 23:00 IST
Shaurya is all set to begin his journey to Mysuru in the second week of March. Special Arrangement  

Three-year-old Asiatic lion from Gujarat zoo to arrive in Mysuru soon

Shaurya, a three-year-old male Asiatic lion from Rajkot in Gujarat, will soon be making the century-old Mysuru zoo, one of the country’s biggest and famed zoological gardens, its home, and give a greater push to the zoo’s grand plan of breeding the highly endangered species in captivity.
The zoo has set its vision on becoming a successful centre for the captive breeding of Asiatic lions, found only in Gujarat, and share them with other Indian zoos. There are very few Asiatic lions left both in the wild and in captivity since their breeding in captivity was considered to be a huge challenge.
The zoo has got a young lioness, Renita, from Sakkarbaugh zoo in Gujarat. Sakkarbaugh zoo is one of the most sought after zoos across the globe, as it is the largest and most successful breeder of Asiatic lions. Besides exchanging lions across the world, it also releases them into the wild – Gir forest – to increase their numbers.
The Mysuru zoo signed a deal with Rajkot Zoological Park to procure a male lion in return for surplus animals and birds in its stock.
Shaurya is all set to begin his long journey to Mysuru in the second week of March. Mysuru zoo veterinarian Ramesh had gone to Rajkot for screening of the animal before it could be transported it to Mysuru.
With Asiatic lions being in great demand and enjoying a high exchange value, the Mysuru zoo agreed to give quite a lot of animals and birds for the ‘prized’ animal.
“It’s not easy for a zoo to get an Asiatic lion. The young male will be heading to Mysuru soon. Its holding room is being readied. I’m sure Shaurya will be one of the biggest attractions for visitors. The zoo houses only one male lion which is Afro-Asiatic in breed,” zoo executive director K. Kamala told The Hindu. A pair of Indian grey wolf, a male Himalayan black bear, two female hog deer, two male Common Sand Boa, a pair of Alexandrine parakeet, a pair of Lady Amherst pheasant, two pairs of red junglefowl, a pair of white ibis, a pair of rose-ringed parakeet, three pairs of Java Sparrow and ten pairs of budgerigar will be exchanged with Rajkot zoo. Only a few zoos in the country have housed the Asiatic lion.
Mysuru zoo had Asiatic lions in 1989 but could not breed them. Five years ago, it got a pair of lions from Sakkarbaug zoo. The lioness, Gowri, suffered health problems. She delivered a cub that died. Gowri has been taken off display.


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