SUBJECT :In May 2018, two leopard cubs were found at a tea garden near Kathambari forest in Dooars. The two were taken to the Bengal Safari Park in Siliguri and raised by ateam of keepers, who named the male Shishir and the femal Nayan. 

Calcutta/Siliguri, July 10, 2019: In May 2018, two leopard cubs were found at a tea garden near Kathambari forest in Dooars. The two were taken to the Bengal Safari Park in Siliguri and raised by ateam of keepers, who named the male Shishir and the femal Nayan.

The two, youth adults now, are the latest arrivals at Alipore Zoo in Calcutta. They left Siliguri in two cages on a rruck around 10pm on Monday and reached Alipore around 9am next morning.

Both of them are now aged around a year and two months. The tea gardens in north Bengal make an ideal habitat for leopards who prefer living in shrubs and bushes instead of dense forests. They can also hunt livestock that are abundant in the gardens. But the presence of leopards also leads to frequent man-ani-mal conflicts.

Earlier this year, a spate of leopard attracts in the tea gardens of north Bengal left three kids dead. In February, a leopard that hard strayed into a village in Alipurduar’s Falakata and injured five persons was bludgeoned to death by villagers after forest officiala had darted the animal to capture it.

If zoo officials are to be believed, the two are not happy with being moved around so much. Shishir, in particular, has made his displeasure pretty evident. “Since arriving in Alipore, he is constantly growling inside the cage. The long journey on the road must have taken a toll on the two leopards,” the officials said.

The lone inhabitant of the leopard enclosure at the park is Bidyut, aged above 17. Two other leopards have died over the past two year because of age-related ailments.

“We wanted some fresh blood. These two leopards are young and fit the bill,” said VK Yadav, member secretary of Bengal Zoo Authority.

The leopards were given ORS-laced water after their arrival. They have also been given a kilo of chicken each on Day one. But neither of the two ate much, said the zoo official.

Shishir and Nayan would be kept at a shelter behind the leopard enclosure at the eastern corner of the zoo for a month. The big cats at the zoo- tiger, lions, leopards and jaguars-live in large and leafy separate enclosures surrounded by glass walls to shield them from the din of visitors.

For now, the two would be kept separately. “We would gradually try to pair them. But we have to see that they don’t end up fighting too much,” said the zoo official. The two will not be brought in public view before a month. 


Source: www.telegraphindia.com