Mysuru zoo to soon get lioness from Junagadh

Mysuru zoo to soon get lioness from Junagadh

Zoo now has just three lions against 22 in 1984

Sri Jayachamarajendra Zoological Garden, Mysuru, popularly known as Mysuru zoo, will soon get a lioness from Gujarat.

Sakkarbaugh Zoo in Junagadh has agreed to give a lioness. The zoo will receive lioness Renita from Sakkarbaugh Zoo in a week’s time.  A team of officials from Mysuru zoo recently visited Sakkarbaugh Zoo and completed the formalities to bring the animal.

“The Sakkarbaugh Zoo authorities have agreed to give Renita to the Mysuru zoo. We have also requested them for a lion and they are yet to decide,” said Mysuru Zoo Deputy Director N T Vijay Kumar.

At present, the Mysuru zoo houses only three lions — Afro-Asiatic lions Darshan and Rakshitha and Asiatic lioness Gauri. In 2011, Mysuru zoo received two Asiatic lions Shankar and Gauri from Sakkarbaugh Zoo. But, Shankara died in early May this year, owing to kidney and liver problems. The zoo had successfully bred an Asiatic lion in 2012, but the cubs died soon after their birth.

According to the sources, Gauri is also suffering from health ailments. Indian cricket team coach Anil Kumble had adopted Shankara while another cricketer R Vinay Kumar had adopted Darshan under the ‘Animal Adoption Scheme’ of the zoo in 2014.

In 1984, Mysuru zoo housed 22 lions, including cubs. Following over population, the authorities had sterilised the lions to check their numbers. As many as 13 animals had undergone vasectomy. A lion can give birth once in two years.

A retired employee of the zoo, who had worked during Eighties, said, lion population was growing rampantly due to healthy atmosphere in the zoo. He recalled that a lion named Ganga had delivered four cubs and the zoo had difficulties in managing the animals.

Mysuru zoo got its first pair of lions in 1964 and the zoo had bred lions so rapidly that within 12 years, it was able to give 18 lions to various zoos across the country and also to the Bannerghatta National Park in Bengaluru. The zoo authorities had even sold six lions to circus companies.

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