Bringing joy to the city amid spiking Covid infections, a 45-year-old elephant in Bengaluru Zoo has given birth to a female calf, an official said on Thursday. In nearly a month’s time, the city zoo saw the birth of three animals, two elephant calves and a hippopotamus calf.
“Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBBP) or Bengaluru Zoo is happy to announce the elephant named Suvarna gave birth to a female calf on Monday,” said BBBP Executive Director Vanashree Vipin Singh.
Suvarna as well as the newborn calf are doing well.
“With the addition of this calf, the present elephant population is 25 at the Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park,” she added.
The new calf’s birth comes less than a month after another male calf was born nearly 20 days ago to a 12-year-old elephant.
Exactly a week before that, the zoo announced the good news of a hippopotamus giving birth to a calf.
However, Bengaluru zoo is proving to be a major rehabilitation centre for animals in distress.
“BBBP has also been continuously supporting the Karnataka Forest department in rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals,” Singh said.
On Monday, a one-and-a-half-year-old Indian gaur was found in a dull and immobile state in a farmland at Keralusandra village in Kodihalli Wildlife Range.
The Forest department being informed by the local farmers, Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) alerted BBBP’s veterinary teams which rescued the animal.
“The gaur was examined at the spot and it was observed the animal had a fracture at its right forelimb in the carpal region due to which it was not able to bear the weight on the affected leg,” Singh added.
The gaur was tranquilised and shifted to Bannerghatta Zoo hospital for further treatment on the same day. At present, it is under observation.
Similarly on Tuesday, a male sub-adult sloth bear was found trapped in a snare on its neck region near Kadina Kuppe village in Ramanagara Range.
“Upon intimation by the DCF, Ramanagara, the BBBP veterinary team rushed to the spot. The animal was sedated and freed from the snare,” she said.
The team of vets examined the bear and was found to be healthy, leading to the beast’s release back into the forest near Ramanagara.
Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park has four units — a zoo, safari, butterfly park and a rescue centre sprawling more than 732 hectares of land and accommodates 2,282 animals.
The zoo is nestled in the forests of Champakadhama Hills inside the Bannerghatta National Park.
BBBP is a unit of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka and one of the few places where wilderness is preserved in the vicinity of a city like Bengaluru.