Thursday, April 15

Kolkata Zoo: Now, zebras to get an enclosure to breed in

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The zebras in Alipore Zoo have finally earned their stripes to have a breeding centre of their own.

The State Zoo Authority has decided to set up a zebra breeding centre at the zoo for captive breeding and also expand the enclosure to accommodate the nine zebras they already have. Such a facility does not exist in any of the zoos in the country.

Four zebras were brought to the Alipore Zoo from Israel in 2011. Not only did they survive healthily but also contributed in increasing the number in the zoo. From 2012 onwards, at least one foal was born every year till last year. It also helped the zoo in getting species it did not have in exchange of zebras. Zebras have been listed as threatened by IUCN on its Red list.

“We have nine zebras in the zoo. We are setting up a breeding centre and increasing the size of the enclosure as we need more space to accommodate so many zebras comfortably. The work on the breeding centre is on and expansion of the enclosure will start soon. We intend to complete the work before the onset of peak winter season,” said Ashish Kumar Samanta, director of Alipore Zoological Garden.

The need to set up a breeding centre for zebras rose out of the problem of plenty that led to “severe breach of privacy” of the zebras. “Since there is space constraint, zebras trying to procreate are unable to do so due to the movement of other zebras. A separate enclosure will help us segregate the two zebras from the others and keep them there so that they do not get distracted,” said an official of the zoo. The breeding centre will be spacious and the veterinary officers will monitor the zebras kept here regularly. Zoo authorities may also keep separate keepers for the breeding centre.

The breeding centre will also be used to house female zebras after they conceive. The zebras at the zoo tend to turn violent and chase and fight with each other inside the enclosure. “We can keep female zebras inside the enclosure to protect her from others. Also, once a foal is born, we can keep it in the enclosure till it is old enough to be kept with others,” said the official.

 

Source: Times of India

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