After deaths, life renews in Bannerghatta

A dancing deer and a Malabar giant squirrel become mothers

After deaths, life renews in Bannerghatta

Just born:  The Thammin deer with her fawn at the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bangalore. The Malabar giant squirrel which gave birth recently. DH Photo

After a series of death of animals, the BBP is now on a revival with some of the species breeding in captivity. A Thammin deer, brought from Delhi zoo under the animal exchange programme has given birth to a fawn. The rare deer was brought to Bannerghatta from Delhi zoo under zoo exchange programme.

“This animal was brought here in March 5, this year along with a hog deer,” said Milo Tago, Executive Director, BBP. The male cub was born on October 5, the same day, when the ailing tigress Minchu breathed her last.

Also known as dancing deer, Sangai deer of India or Manipuri Browed Antler Deer, the population of Thammin deer has been continuously decreasing drastically.
It is believed that the population of this deer is about a mere 200. Heavy hunting is one of the main reasons for the diminishing population of the Sangai deer of India. The destruction of their habitat has worsened the situation.

A rare chinkara brought from a zoo in Haryana too has given birth to a male on September 22. Earlier, on September 4, a Malabar giant squirrel gave birth to a young one, which is considered as a rare thing by the experts.

A rare event

“It is rare because it had not been possible in the last five years,” said B K Singh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Chief Wildlife Warden.

Santosh K, an expert working on arborials (tree dwelling mammals) says that it can be considered as a rare, because normally the squirrel dwells and breeds in a nest, which it builds using twigs and leaves.

“It is rare because it is not heard of, but maybe it could breed if it is together with a male for long time,” he said.

Explaining about the nest, Santosh said the squirrel builds a huge nest on tree canopy with a diameter of at least three feet. The nest will be of two holes to escape from predators like primates (lion tailed macaque) and raptors.

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