| A langur with its baby, deer calves and a pregnant giraffe at Patna zoo. Pictures by Ashok Sinha |
Patna zoo is abuzz with breeding activities this summer with several animals giving birth in the past fortnight and more are expecting.
The list of the new babies in the zoo is long — starting from several species of birds like silver pageants, mallard ducks, swans and owls to four baby jackals born last week.
More additions are awaited. A baby giraffe is expected within the next 10 days, while a royal Bengal tiger that mated with a white variant about a month ago is expected to give birth to a cub within two months.
The zoo authorities have similar breeding plans for lions, leopards and rhinos in the next few months.
“Many new birds and animals have joined the Patna zoo family in the past fortnight. The most significant addition is the birth of six mallard duck chickens. Mallard duck is a rare species. As far as my knowledge goes, hardly any other zoo in India has been successful in its breeding. Other newborn birds include five silver pheasants, five swans and two owls,” Patna zoo director Abhay Kumar said.
The zoo has a favourable breeding trend for rhino (11), giraffe (4), crocodile (over 100), jackal (17) and many other animals and the authorities are pursuing breeding activities in the enclosures.
The zoo will soon have a big aviary to augment breeding of birds. “We cannot conduct successful breeding of rosy pelican because it requires a large space for its flight. We have a plan to have a big aviary in the zoo,” Abhay added.