Officials overjoyed as three animals give birth

Officials at the Mysore zoo are overjoyed as there are some new residents.

A lion-tailed macaque, an endangered species, has delivered; a sloth bear gave birth to a male cub; and white tigress, Manya gave birth to four cubs.

The Mysore zoo has the responsibility of breeding lion-tailed macaque in captivity, in partnership with Vandaloor Zoo, Chennai.

According to zoo officials, the lion-tailed macaque gave birth in a natural environment.

“Some factors that helped it conceive were that there was more scope for physical activity inside the enclosure. The choice of feed, which included live food such as insects, made the difference,” said zoo Executive Director B.P. Ravi.

Speaking to The Hindu, he said lion-tailed macaques were social animals and did not like confinement. “We left the pregnant female in the group. No separate space was created for the birth as we did not want any external influences to be there. The young one is fine,” he said.

Sloth bears

Mr. Ravi said that sloth bears create dens to give birth. “The keeper informed us that the sloth bear was pregnant. The bear had created four to five dens inside its enclosure to give birth. We used to keep food at the mouth of the dens,” he said.

Breeding of tigers

Even captive breeding of tigers has gained momentum with Manya, a seven-year-old white tigress born in the zoo, giving birth to four cubs on Tuesday.

The birth was confirmed by zoo sources. The cubs were born in the zoo after a gap of two years. Captive breeding of tigers was stepped up with the arrival of wild tigers, mainly Brahma, a 12-year-old male, which was caught in Brahmagiri forest range in Kodagu in 2008.

New bloodline

The wild tigers were brought in to introduce a new bloodline to produce stronger and healthier cubs. Breeding among tigers born in captivity was resulting in a limited gene pool. Animals born with the same strain of genes are weak and susceptible to diseases, according to the zoo sources.

The zoo authorities paired Brahma and Manya for the first time in May 2011 and Manya gave birth to three cubs.