With the birth of the cub, the total number of gaur in the zoo has increased to 13
In a boost to captive breeding, a four-year-old-Indian gaur, Kaveri, gave birth to a male calf at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur on Sunday. This is the second calf to be born in less than four months. The calf, which weighs around 30kg, and the mother are healthy and the former is being given special care by zoo veterinarians.
With the birth of the cub, the total number of gaur in the zoo has increased to 13, including seven females. It was only in February this year that six-year-old Lakshmi gave birth to a female calf. The gestation period for the species is 275 days.
This is the fourth calf to be born in a year at the zoo. Of the over 198 zoos in the country, Vandalur zoo is one of the few to have the species. “The infant is on a special diet including coconut, bananas and greens in addition to milk. The mother and the calf are being kept away from other animals as a precaution,” said zoo director, KSSVP Reddy, who is also chief conservator of forests.
The Indian bison or gaur (Bos gaurus) is a large bovine native to South and South East Asia.
It has been listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 1986 as its population is on the decline.
Bigger than even the African and wild water buffalo, gaurs are the heaviest and strongest of all wild cattle. A male weighs between 1,000 and 1,500 kg while a female weighs between 700 and 1,000 kg. The lifespan of the animal in the wild is around 20 years and it might live for five more years in captivity. “This is mainly due to the better medical care and availability of regular food. Three additional enclosures have been built to accommodate the expanding bison population at the zoo,” Mr. Reddy said.