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Updated: April 12, 2010 15:57 IST

'Cute' mate for Delhi Zoo’s female gibbon

PTI
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A Hoolock Gibbon at the Gibbon Wild Life Sanctuary in Jorhat district of Assam. The animal, which falls under Schedule I of the critically endangered species, is facing a serious threat due to habitat loss, rampant poaching and ginger cultivation. File photo: Ritu Raj Konwar
THE HINDU A Hoolock Gibbon at the Gibbon Wild Life Sanctuary in Jorhat district of Assam. The animal, which falls under Schedule I of the critically endangered species, is facing a serious threat due to habitat loss, rampant poaching and ginger cultivation. File photo: Ritu Raj Konwar

The government has now initiated breeding conservation programme in select zoos including Itanagar to protect Hoolock gibbon, which falls under Schedule I of the critically endangered species

After a long wait, a 20 something female Hoolock Gibbon in Delhi Zoo has finally got a mate in five—year—old ‘Cute’ which arrived here from Itanagar a fortnight ago.

Rescued from Delo village in Lower Dibang Valley district in the Northeast region about two years back, Cute will help authorities in undertaking the species breeding conservation programme.

“Delhi’s lone female hoolock gibbon was without a mate for a last few years and arrival of ‘Cute’ is the outcome of intensive efforts by authorities as per zoo policy which states that no captive animal should be without a partner,” says Delhi Zoo director Anand Krishna.

Hoolock gibbon, which falls under Schedule I of the critically endangered species is facing a serious threat because of habitat loss, rampant poaching, mindless hunting and ginger cultivation.

Of the 180 zoos in the country, only eight have hoolock gibbon which is understood impossible to be bred in captivity. To protect the endangered animal, the government has now initiated breeding conservation programme in select zoos including Itanagar.

“Besides, a male gibbon, the Delhi Zoo has recently added a pair each of endangered fox and jackal and a highly poisonous Russel Viper to its exotic exhibit through exchange programme,” says Krishna.

Fox and Jackals have been acquired from Bilaspur Zoo while Russel’s Viper, a venomous snake is from Bagalore Zoo.

Russel’s Viper are about 3 to 4 feet long and are marked with a bold pattern of large dark circles outlines with white. They do not lay eggs but produces litter.

Every year, more than 13 lakh people visit the zoo spread over an area of 214 acres that houses more than 1,200 birds, mammals and reptiles from countries like Africa, America, Australia and Asia.

Hippopotamus, spider monkey, African Wild Buffalo, the Gir Lion and Zebras, lion and stump tailed Macaque, Red Jungle Fowl, Hoolock Gibbon, Banteng, Emu, Axis deer, Hyenas, Fallow deer, Peafowl, Hog Dear and the Jaguar have been a major draw.



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