Zoo authorities have been mate-scouting for 4 years for this lonely male giraffe
It has a towering presence but a solitary existence.
For the last four years, Tsunami Basant, a male giraffe at the Nehru Zoological Park here, has been leading a rather lonely life even as the authorities have been scouting around for a mate for the animal. The nine-year-old giraffe was born on Basant Panchami day at the Delhi Zoo after the tsunami, hence the name Tsunami Basant.
The nearly 13-feet-tall animal was brought here from the Delhi Zoo in 2009. Officials had then announced that a female giraffe, too, would be brought. However, the search in zoos across the country was of no avail, leaving the giraffe alone and without a mate.
Even the rules governing zoos in the country do not appreciate lonely and friendless existence of any animal. According to the Recognition of Zoo Rules, every zoo should endeavour to “acquire mates for single and unpaired animals on priority basis”.
In the event of a “zoo failing to find a mate for a single and unpaired animal within a period of six months, the single animal should be transferred or exchanged or given on breeding loan to any other zoo” in accordance with the rules specified by the Central Zoo Authority.
Zoo officials say that they have been keenly following up the issue and have finally worked out a deal with Zoo Negara, Malaysia. “We are getting three giraffes, two females and one male. Of them, a pair will go to Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Visakhapatnam, and a female giraffe will be brought here,” says P. Mallikarjuna Rao, Director of State Zoos.
The transfer of giraffes became an issue as the animals could not be brought from Malaysia by air cargo given their height. “Airlines are not willing to carry the animals as they are more than 10 feet high which forced us to explore the sea route,” avers another official. A schedule to land at the Chennai port and then taking them by road is being worked out.
“We are aware and concerned that all animals here are in pairs, and we are working for it (bringing a female giraffe),” says zoo curator A. Sankaran. In the last few months, several single animals such as gaur, marmoset monkey, barking deer and ostrich have been paired, he adds.