Authorities of the city zoo are on a high. During the last six months, the zoo has been ‘blessed’ with as many as nine baby birds and animals. In addition to these, the populations of black buck and hog deer are on the rise. The zoo has also been able to check the mortality rate of animals.
It is sort of a comeback for the city zoo, which had a tough time battling various deadly diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, canine distemper virus attack and trypanosomiasis.
Over the past six months, the zoo witnessed the birth of an Indian bison named Arjun, two black swans, a sun conure, a blue crowned pigeon, a crested duck and a golden pheasant. Baby leopards Sarang and Sarishma are the latest in the list.
Zoo veterinarian Jacob Alexander said the number of newborns is an indicator of the health status of zoo animals. “It is the result of our constant vigil. We have been checking various parameters such as health and nutrition statuses. It is a very long process. We were able to check the mortality rates, especially that of carnivores, in the past six months,” he said.
“For birds, we took steps such as enriching the enclosure, setting up nests and other facilities,” Alexander said.
Hatching of eggs as well as raising of newborns were a tedious process for zoo officials. “The eggs of crested duck and golden pheasant were hatched in the incubator. Once they are hatched, introducing them to their group was the next big step. First, they were introduced to the female and then to the male group. The groups were shifted to a new enclosure until all were familiar with the newborns,” Alexander said.
The number of black bucks and hog deers in the zoo too are increasing.
There are more reasons for zoo officials to cheer. According to norms of the Central Zoo Authority, the zoo cannot buy new animals. Instead, it could exchange animals with another zoo. “So, increase in the number of a particular variety will be helpful as we could exchange it for new animals or birds,” Alexander said.