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SOS Rhino : In the News : US team to study zoo rhino
 

US team to study zoo rhino

  PRAKRITI PRASAD
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
[ TUESDAY, MARCH 02, 2004 01:10:23 AM ]

NEW DELHI : Baby Brahmaputra has already acquired an international fan club. Ayodhya and Maheshwaris' bonny three-month-old had visitors flying all the way from America to see him, and they were not even remotely related!

"We've fallen in love with the baby rhino. He is so cute," cooed Judy Benvenuti, an official of the team from Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle visiting the Delhi Zoo.

The Woodland Park (WP), which offers travel programmes to members to see exotic animals in their natural habitat, are planning to build a one-horned Indian rhino exhibit there.

A team of 14 members are in India to study the natural habitat, food and habits of the animal, both in captivity and in the wild.

A two-and-a-half hour tour of the Delhi Zoo left the visitors visibly impressed. "We always believed our zoo was the best, but the Delhi Zoo is just wonderful. It was a great experience for all of us," said Judy and the project manager of the team, Linda Solevin.

The visiting team interacted with the keepers and zoo officials in order to take tips on the feeding and other habits of the rhino in captivity. The team has proceeded to Kaziranga National Park , Assam , to check out the animal in the wild.

The endangered one-horned Indian rhinoceros has now been reduced to about 1,500 specimen living in marshy areas of Assam , Bengal and Nepal . The Woodland Park team are taking no chances, they want to be well prepared before they acquire one from India .

Meanwhile, the Delhi Zoo team is upbeat with appreciation from the officials of a zoo as famous as WP.

"We've taken great care to provide each of our animals with a natural environment. They need a comfortable and secure environment to breed," said the zoo director B S Bonal.

The birth of the baby rhino after a gestation period of about one-and-half years in November was one of the high points at the Delhi Zoo in 2003.

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