There has been a considerable reduction in the mortality rate of animals in captivity at Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur.

Giving the details, K.S.S.V.P. Reddy, Chief Conservator of Forests and Zoo Director, told The Hindu that the zoo housed mammals, reptiles and birds totalling 1,342 belonging to 148 species.

Between April 2010 and March 2011 only 22 animals were reported dead. Of this nine died due to old age and the remaining owing to other health related problems and infighting.

Environment enrichment, psychological well being and animal husbandry and veterinary care were the three important captive management practices that contributed to the longevity of animals.

Similarly, the zoo authorities ensured hygienic feed and clean water to the housed animals. Apart from this maintaining the enclosures hygienically by cleaning them periodically had provided a safe environment for the animals in captivity, he said.

For example as per the records documented by the zoo authorities lifespan of a lion and leopard in captivity is 20 years, sambar 22 years and hyena 25 years.

This is the record which is maintained by the zoo authorities all over the country, Mr. Reddy said.

Similarly, the number of carnivores died in zoo is also very less. Unlike the other species, the carnivores lead a comfortable life in captivity at the zoo. Deaths of carnivores such as leopards and lions were only due to ageing, he said.

Keywords: Vandalur zoo