Albatross, one of the cubs of Ved and Sheeba, at its Tata zoo enclosure on Sunday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpureans, your spotty, furry bundles of joy were named on Sunday. With the blessings of daddy Ved and mommies Sheeba and Basanti, one presumes.
The leopard naming ceremony was the high point of the last day of World Wildlife Week celebrations at Tata Steel Zoological Park.
So, the male cub born to Ved and Basanti on April 4 was named Bobby, while Albatross and Satya were the names given to the pair of sons born to Ved and Sheeba on May 5.
The way the cubs were named was also unique.
Some 426 children from 55 schools who participated in the sit-and-draw competition at Tata zoo got slips to write names of their choice.
East Singhbhum conservator of forests Satyajit Singh, as chief guest, randomly picked up three chits, which read Albatross, Bobby and a distinctively female name that had to be discarded.
Rather than pick up another chit, Singh named the third cub himself, choosing Satya.
“Satya was named by chief guest Singh as the third chit picked up by him had a female name,” said Seema Rani, biologist-cum-education officer of the Tata zoo.
The leopard (Panthera pardus), a Felidae family member, is the smallest of the four big cats, the other three being the lion, the tiger and the jaguar. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies them as near-threatened.
Last year, five pure-breed South African lions and a tiger cub were named as part of a campaign where over 4,200 citizens took part.
The lions, flown from Pretoria, were named Zoya, Salya, Jumbo, Ed and Kimu. The tiger cub, born to in-house big cat couple Raghav and Shanti on April 16, 2012, was named Dona. She even had a grand first birthday party this year, complete with a cake-cutting ceremony.
Like the lion and tiger cubs, the baby leopards are doing well.
And now, after getting names, they will get their own fan following, hope zoo officials.
That’s why Tata zoo invites citizens and schoolchildren to name animals and deepen bonds. Earlier, animals were addressed by codes or numbers.
Starting on October 1, the wildlife week also had a host of celebratory events such as quiz, debate, rally, fancy dress contest and so on. But the best was kept for the last.
Among the three leopard names, which is your personal favourite and why?