A newborn Indian bison calf is the latest attraction at the Vandalur zoo.
K.S.S.V.P. Reddy, chief conservator of forests and zoo director, said Subha, the zoo’s female Indian Bison, delivered the calf a few days ago.
Till 1998, the zoo did not house Indian bisons as exhibits.
In March that year, a sub-adult bison strayed into Thirukazhukundram. The villagers informed the zoo authorities, who then went and rescued the Indian bison from Thirukazhukundram. Later, the zoo obtained a mate for the rescued one under the animal-exchange programme. Thereafter, bison breeding became successful in the zoo, according to Mr. Reddy.
Talking about the mother and the newborn, he said they have been kept separately in a room in the rear of the bison enclosure.
The mother and calf will be away from the gaze of visitors as well as the other male bisons in the zoo, as the males sometimes attack the new borns, he said.
A special diet is being provided to the lactating mother Subha which includes coconut, banana, greens, oil cakes and chick peas.
With the newborn calf, the population of Indian bisons in the zoo has touched 11. The zoo now houses four males and seven females, Mr. Reddy added.