|Doomdoom at Nagaland Zoological Park
Jorhat, Sept. 23: The Nagaland Zoological Park has initiated the process of breeding captive leopards by trying to bring together two animals, which are currently lodged at the zoo, near Dimapur.
Obed Swu, an official at the park, said the authorities had begun exchanging scents of the male and female leopards, which are at present lodged in separate enclosures.
“We have been exchanging urine and stool samples of the leopards and trying to make them familiar with each other. The animals are responding positively,” he said.
Swu said the zoo authorities were expecting to bring the two animals together for mating by next month.
This will be the first time that captive breeding of leopards will be carried out at the zoo. It had carried out captive breeding of Indian jackals early this year and four cubs were born in March. Three of the cubs survived and are doing fine, Swu said.
Swu said the female leopard was rescued from a forest in Nagaland and shifted to the zoo about three years ago.
The male leopard, Doomdoom, was shifted from the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation Centre in Assam’s Golaghat district a couple of months ago. It had been rescued from Doomdooma in Upper Assam in 2006 when it was a few months old and was hand-raised at CWRC till it was shifted to the zoo.
“Our aim in bringing the male leopard from the CWRC was to arrange company for the female leopard. As both the animals are in their prime, we are planning to carry out breeding,” Swu said.
The zoo is situated within the notified area of Rangapahar wildlife sanctuary and covers 176 hectares. It has about 150 animals, including Himalayan black bear, hoolock gibbon and jackals.
This is the second time that animals have been shifted from Assam to the zoological park in Nagaland. A few sambar and spotted deer were shifted from Guwahati zoo to the Nagaland zoo a few years ago.
An official at the CWRC said the male leopard was shifted to the lifetime care facility in Nagaland because it never acquired the hunting skills required for survival in the wild. “The leopard was brought to the centre when it was very young and it never learnt hunting skills,” he said.
The CWRC has two more leopards, a male and a female. Both are being hand-raised and will be shifted to lifetime care facilities.
“A few zoos are in touch with us but it will take some time for a final decision to shift these two leopards,” the official said.