Wednesday, January 11, 2012

These cubs were not born yesterday

These cubs were not born yesterday
Mid Day By: Ranjeet Jadhav

Because of the state forest minister's busy schedule, Sanjay Gandhi National Park had to wait three months to announce the birth of lioness Shobha's three cubs to the world

If you are a cat person, and we are talking about the really big ones here, this piece of news should give you a lift.

Pawing around: Shobha, the lioness, plays with her two female and
one male cub in a small enclosure inside Sanjay Gandhi National park
yesterday. The announcement of the cubs came three months after they
were born. Pic/Sameer Markande

For the first time since their birth in September last year, three little cubs of lioness Shobha were allowed to roam freely in a small ground inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) yesterday.

What's interesting is that it took more than three months for the information on the existence of the newborns to emerge. Sources in the department told us that the official announcement regarding the same was to be made two months ago. But as the state forest minister was occupied elsewhere, the formal communiqu © was made on Tuesday, when he finally showed up at the park.

Lion's share
Speaking to MiD DAY, a forest department officer said, "The lioness gave birth to three cubs (two female and one male) in the wee hours of September 22. It was a very proud moment for us as the delivery happened without any complications."

On the morning of September 22, veterinary doctor of SGNP Vinaya Jangale conducted a checkup of the mother and cubs and arrived at the conclusion that all three cubs were fit. Yesterday forest minister Patangrao Kadam came to visit the family. Sources in the park said that the minister was very pleased because of the birth of the cubs and was also appreciative of the way in which authorities were taking care of all animals.

At present there are two male and one female adult Asiatic lion at SGNP.

While Shobha was born around six years ago, the two male lions are both about eight years old.

At present the fully-grown lions at the park are all on a beef diet, each devouring about 7-9 kg in a week.

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