A new Indian Gaur safari will be created at the Vandalur zoo in about two months. Giving details, K.S.S.V.P. Reddy, Chief Conservator of Forests and the Zoo Director, told The Hindu that it would be created by carving a portion from the lion safari area. The lion safari has two geographical regions – hilly and plains. At present the lions move around in the plain region and they do not go to the hilly region.

Even during the formation of zoo at Vandalur, there was a proposal to create an Indian Gaur safari. In the mid-1990s, the authorities rescued a gaur, which had strayed into paddy fields near Tiruporur. Subsequently, the authorities managed to get a pair for it. The gaur started breeding well in captivity.

On Friday, the gaur gave birth to a calf, taking the gaur population at the zoo to 10, Mr Reddy said.

He said the lion safari is spread over a 30 ha area of which the lions move around only in 12 ha area. The proposed gaur safari would be created on remaining 18 ha of area, a hilly terrain. The visitors could then be able to go on the lion and gaur safaris in battery operated vehicles, he said.

Adequate care

The zoo authorities have provided adequate care to the newborn gaur calf. Both the mother and the new born have been shifted to the neighbouring enclosure to protect the new born from any attack by male gaurs, Mr Reddy added.