THE MOST unruly inmate of the City Zoo, Nakul, a rhino, is now under psychological training at its enclosure. Though, it has learnt several ways of ‘civilised’ life, yet it has to be taught to live with female partners.
For Zoo Director R Hemant Kumar, the animal has now become ‘civilised’ to a great extent, but the finishing touches to its behaviour were still to be given to convert it into an orderly inmate.
It took a lot of patience to ‘civilise’ it to learn the lessons of disciplined way of life in the enclosure. But, as of now it has become humble with certain reservations about its fellows, but it takes pride in facing the visitors of all age.
It is worth mentioning that Nakul had escaped from the Dudhwa National Park in November 2004. A party comprising senior forest officials made several attempts to trap the animal but to no avail.
The animal after crossing Moradabad reached Rampur where several efforts were made to trap it. Finally, it was trapped by shooting with tranquiliser gun and sent to the zoo here.
The animal was christened as Nakul and put up in a separate enclosure, as it was very violent in nature. It was unmanageable. Keepers had a tough time while serving food. It did not relish the company of visitors and tried to attack them when they approached it.
For several days it did not eat anything and the food served to it was wasted. However, the zoo officials did not lose their patience. According to Kumar, they continued their efforts to train the animal and make it a ‘civilised’ one. “Thank God, after 16 months of hard labour, we have been able to tame it.
It is altogether a different animal. It does not react to the visitors. Now, the keepers will train it to share some time with a female rhino for procreation.”
However, Nakul has not learnt the lessons of civility and social living. The zoo officials are hopeful to change its nature within the next few months by tackling it on psychological plane.