By Kaunain Sheriff M
This season, the Delhi zoo has many reasons to celebrate. From exotic birds to endangered species, the animal population at Delhi zoo has been steadily increasing, courtesy some successful breeding, animal-exchange programmes and ‘gifts’ from other zoos.
The zoo, which in recent times has welcomed exotic birds from other parts of the world, has been able to multiply their numbers through successful breeding.
“The exotic Blue-and-yellow Macaw and cockatoos have hatched young ones. This is good news for the zoo as these birds are a visual delight,” Riaz Khan, zoo curator, said.
The Blue-and-yellow Macaw is found in South America, sporting the colours after which it is named. When excited, the bird’s face turns pink.
The other exotic bird which has given birth is the Sulphur-crested cockatoo. The bird is predominantly found in Northern Australia.
“Cockatoos are a little different. In the sense that they take longer to attain maturity and learn parenting. So, we are happy to see them go through the whole process and give birth,” Khan said.
In the last six months, the zoo has also been successful in breeding mammals facing extinction. The zoo, this month, successfully bred two Black Bucks and four white Black Bucks. “In recent times, we have seen significant threat to Black Bucks. But we have been able to increase their numbers through concerted efforts,” the official said.
Besides, as ‘gifts’ from Mysore zoo, the zoo has received three wolfs, two Gaurs and two Black swans. But the most-prized ‘gifts’ have been two Royal Bengal Tigers. “The zoo is now home to a nine-month-old Royal Bengal Tiger and Rama, an adult tiger, both gifted by Mysore zoo,” Khan said.
Moreover, the zoo, which already has seven white tigers, welcomed another five months ago.
The zoo has also successfully undertaken animal-exchange programmes this year. Under such programmes, it received over 15 different species, among them Brown fish owl, Golden pheasant, Jungle cat and Striped hyena.
“We received birds and mammals from Kerala, Bilaspur and Darjeeling,” Khan said.
For the first time, an ostrich has laid eggs at the zoo. “We are keeping our fingers crossed. In another 20 days, if everything goes right, we will see the eggs hatch,” the official said.