| A rhinoceros and her cub at Patna zoo. Telegraph picture |
Two lion and three Royal Bengal Tiger cubs have increased the animal population at Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park this month, maintaining the impressive growth of inmates in the zoo over the past few months.
The birth of three tiger cubs at the zoo is the first in 19 years. The tigress, Swarna, gave birth to the cubs on August 2. Saraswati, the Asian lioness, gave birth to the cubs on Independence Day.
Not only has the bird population gone up with the birth of silver pheasant, Mallard duck, swan and owl in the past few months, the zoo also saw the birth of four jackals and a giraffe foal this year. The foal, however, died a few days after it was born. The zoo has the distinction of the highest breeding rate of rhinoceros in the country.
Director Abhay Kumar attributed the reason behind the favourable breeding pattern to efforts taken to pair off animals, maintain the animals during their gestation (pregnancy) period and ensure survival of the newborns.
“The basic principle of conservation at a zoo is to create a favourable environment for their breeding. It would make the zoo self-sustaining and develop a pool of surplus animals that can be exchanged with other zoos. We have made efforts to pair off several animals in the past few months.”