Himalayan serow successfully bred at Assam zoo

Himalayan serow successfully bred at Assam zoo with 'breeding loan'

Calf of the serow born in Assam State Zoo in Guwahati on Wednesday. Credit: Assam State Zoo

 A "breeding loan" arrangement between zoos in Assam and Nagaland has turned out to be a successful conservation story for the Himalayan serow, an endangered wildlife species.

The Assam State Zoo, which has two female serows, had borrowed the lone male serow from the Nagaland Zoological Park, Dimapur, for conservation breeding of the species and the effort was successful with the birth of a calf on Wednesday.

"At the Assam State Zoo, the male and female were carefully paired within 10 months of the arrival of the male and on Wednesday, the first serow calf was born. It is a very special moment for both zoos and for serow conservation," said Tejas Mariswamy, Divisional Forest Officer of the Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden.

He said that this was for the first time that animals were exchanged on a breeding loan and successfully bred. 

The Himalayan serow is a goat-antelope native to the eastern Himalayas and eastern and southeastern Bangladesh. It is listed as 'Near Threatened' on the IUCN Red List because the population is considered to be declining due to habitat loss and hunting for its meat.

Keeping in mind the threat to its population, the Assam Zoo had taken up the initiative and had discussions on captive breeding with the Nagaland Zoo. The programme was approved by the Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi.

Mariswamy said that forest departments of both Assam and Nagaland were elated over the success.

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