African lion cubs make first appearance at Hyderabad Zoo

Hyderabad: Two African lion cubs, born a month ago at Nehru Zoological Park here, came out for the first time in a ”day crawl”.According to Nehru Zoological Park Curator, N.Kshitija, this is the first time that the cubs came out since their birth last month. Lovely moments of the cute cubs spending time with their mother Adhisana were captured on camera by the zoo officials. One of the photographs released by the zoo authorities shows the mother licking her cub.

The cubs are also seen playing with each other. Shutdown for more than 40 days due to coronavirus-fuelled nation-wide lockdown, the zoo brought some cheers to animal lovers with the increase in the big cat population.

The Nehru Zoological Park (NZP), most popular and one of the largest zoos in the country, saw the birth of three Royal Bengal tiger cubs and two African lion cubs in the first week of April. Six jackal puppies and two Blue Gold Macaw chicks were also born.

Meanwhile, NZP officials said they were taking all precautions for the safety of the animals in the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19. It sounded an alert last month after a tiger at a New York Zoo tested positive for the dreaded virus. The animal keepers and veterinary staff were alerted to monitor the animals, particularly tiger and primates for checking any symptoms of cold, nasal discharge, or any symptoms of flu.

The officials said the precautionary measures were taken up as per the instructions of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Central Zoo Authority (CZA). The veterinary wing is continuously monitoring the health of animals and checking for any symptoms. Thermal scanning is being done of about 150 Zoo employees engaged in taking care of the animals. The Zoo authorities took several preventive prophylactic measures since the first week of March.

The NZP, which is shut since March 22, is using the services of staff animal keepers, gardeners, security and workshop staff to attend duties for providing feed to the animals, cleaning the enclosures, maintaining hygiene and sanitation, maintaining the health of animals and attending emergency maintenance works and services. Set up in 1963, the NZP is the most popular and one of the largest Zoos with an average of 27-30 lakh visitors annually. It has over 155 species and 1550 specimens in spacious enclosures.