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Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

New attraction at Vizag zoo

Nivedita Ganguly

VISAKHAPATNAM: The birth of a fawn of the magnificent ‘barasingha' or swamp deer at the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park has brought cheer to the zoo that had recently received two pairs of the animal from Hyderabad zoo. The month-old fawn is healthy and being taken care of by the mother.

“The birth of the fawn came as a pleasant surprise for us. This was the first time the Vizag zoo recorded the birth of a barasingha fawn,” zoo curator Rahul Pandey told The Hindu. Up to three months, the fawn survives on mother's milk after which external feed will be given to it.

Vizag is the third zoo in the country to have the animal apart from Hyderabad and Junagadh zoos. The animals have been kept at a separate enclosure and are kept on display with the hog deer that share a common habitat. “The mother is given extra care and being provided with cattle feed and water with glucose,” he said.

Known for its beautiful antlers, the ‘barasingha', at one time, was distributed throughout the basins of the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, as well as in Central India as far as the Godavari river.

Bones dating back over a thousand years have been found in the Langhanj site in Gujarat.

Endangered

Today, however, the species has disappeared entirely from the western part of its range. In central India, the Kanha National Park is a ‘barasingha' habitat where the deer inhabits grasslands in the forest proximity. It is also found in and found in the Terai of Uttar Pradesh, Assam and in the Sunderbans. Highly gregarious in nature, the swamp deer lives in groups that easily merge to form huge herds.

While their eyesight and hearing are moderate, the sense of smell is acute.

The average size of the antlers of ‘barasingha' measure 30 inches round the curve.

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