AGARTALA, May 4 - A python has laid eggs and a slow loris has given birth to a baby in captivity for the first time in Sipahijala Zoo, about 22 km from here, Zoo officials said today.
�This is for the first time a python has laid eggs in the zoo captivity and a slow loris also gave birth to a baby about ten days ago. We are continuously observing the developments and trying to give our best support to those animals,� Zoo Director Pallav Chakraborty said.
Slow lorises are a group of several species of nocturnal strepsirrhine primates which make up the genus Nycticebus, found in India�s North East, West Bengal, neighbouring Bangladesh and also in some other places in Southeast Asia.
With the soaring heat the zoo authority has also taken an initiative to keep enclosures cool so that the animals could live comfortably. �For animals like elephants, we take them to the small Bijoy river flowing through the Sipahijala sanctuary for bathing. Otherwise, we shower them two-three times a day with tank water,� Chakraborty said.
There are four domesticated elephants in the sanctuary which are being trained for rides for the visitors. �We water the floors of the enclosures of leopards, monkeys, cats, etc., but do not sprinkle water on them as they do not like it,� he said.
Animals like black bucks from Rajasthan or lions from Gir do not need any artificial cooling as they were brought from warm and temperate areas.
Veterinary doctor of the zoo, Keshab Debnath said besides keeping the enclosures cool it was also necessary to give oral hydration to the animals. �We are giving ORS round the clock to the animals and have also changed their diet to protect them from dehydration,� the doctor said.
Sepahijala Sanctuary is also the only national breeding centre for Clouded Leopard, an endangered animal and spectacle monkey, found mostly in Tripura. Slow loris may look harmless but it is one of the only poisonous mammals in the world. � PTI