Mysore Zoo has turned into a happy nursery with the birth of young ones of endangered species like Lion-tailed Macaque, Wild Dogs, Wolves, Sloth Bear and White Tiger.

The most endearing are the four cubs of white tigress Manya, which gave birth on Tuesday after two years.

Zoo authorities say that animals born with the same strain of genes are weak and susceptible to diseases. Hence, when the 12-year-old tiger Brahma was caught in 2008 in Brahmagiri Forest in Kodagu, it was decided to introduce a new bloodline to produce stronger and healthier cubs by mating Brahma with the Zoo tigers as breeding among tigers born in captivity was resulting in a limited gene pool. Thus, Brahma and Manya were paired in May 2011 and they became proud parents of three cubs.

Now, the Zoo rears male tigers Brahma, Agasthya, Amulya, Madhukeshwara, Rama and Lakshmana, and tigresses Anu, Cauvery, Amrutha and Manya.

Lion-tailed Macaque: The Mysore Zoo, which has the responsibility of breeding Lion-tailed Macaque in captivity, in partnership with Vandaloor Zoo, Chennai, has succeeded in its mission with the eight-year-old Macaque Swathi giving birth to an off-spring.

The Zoo Authority of Karnataka has sanctioned a Master Plan for Mysore Zoo to preserve Lion-tailed Macaque species as it is an endangered species which is disappearing from its home, the Western Ghats.

The Indian Wild Dogs or Dholes, Indian Grey Wolf, a Sloth Bear named Dhruva have each given birth to an offspring while a Scarlet Ibis from Czech Republic has given birth to three young ones.

A hyena too has added to the new entrants to Zoo by birthing a baby.

Expressing his happiness over the new births which have helped in conserving endangered species, Zoo Executive Director Dr. B.P. Ravi said more scope was given for physical activity inside the enclosure and renovation of the animal enclosures to resemble natural environment. Monkeys have been given a chance to feed on trees while animals such as bear, wolf and dholes have got caves which enthuse them to feed and breed. Even the choice of feed, which included live food such as insects, made the difference, he said.

Earlier, our experiment was confined to a room, which has been expanded to natural surroundings. Though the result was late, we have learnt a lesson in species conservation. The Zoo staff will become experts in this soon, Dr. Ravi said adding that the endangered animals which are being bred will be given to other zoos on animal exchange programme. It is also being mooted to leave them in forests, he added.

Animals in pain

Though Mysore Zoo is happy due to the birth of many animals, it is also seeing a sad time with the 19-year-old tiger Madhukeshwar suffering from cancer. Though it was decided to leave him at Bannerghatta Sanctuary when he was 17, the tiger's keepers refused saying it was their duty to look after him even when he is ill, and not just when he was healthy. The doctors are treating him at Zoo.

A leopard Arya needs urgent surgery as its backbone has fractured and it also needs rest for at least two months. But its survival following the surgery is doubtful.

A lioness, Gowri, which arrived from Junagadh, is suffering from leg cramp and needs surgery.

BSY's adopted tigress gives birth

The news that white tigress Manya gave birth to four cubs has made not just the Zoo staff happy, but also former Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa who has adopted Manya for the 5th time. He gives Rs. 1 lakh per year for the tigress' maintenance.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore