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SOS Rhino : In the News : Baby boom in Delhi zoo: Rhino after seven years

Baby boom in Delhi zoo: Rhino after seven years

  Chitra Subramanyam
New Delhi, December 3: IT has happened after seven years and Delhi Zoological Park is celebrating. Three weeks back a baby rhinoceros was born to Maheshwari and Ayodhya, both first-time parents.

For the zoo, which is reeling under a baby boom this year, the birth of a healthy baby rhino was a relief. "Since this is a first for both parents, we were nervous about their reaction," says zoo director B S Bonal.

The baby and his protective mother are being kept in a large room next to their open enclosure. "People will not get to see both of them right away. They will only be allowed to move to the open enclosure after the baby completes two-three months," Bonal says.

The baby, who hasn't been named yet, heads for a small patch of sun even as his ever-watchful mother keeps an eye on him. "He has just started eating the khichri on his own and is trying to chew the leaves," Bonal says. Initially the calf was being hand-fed broad leaves, different varieties of grass, nutrients and khichri.

He adds, "Maheshwari is really looking after her cub. Amongst the African rhinos, the calf follows the mother but the Indian rhino is just the opposite." Sure enough, Maheshwari soon heads towards her calf to make sure he is alright.

To make their room more like home, the zoo has created a wallowing pool, with water and mud for the mother and son. Ayodhya has for now been separated from the mother and her baby.