A female cub born a week ago to Asiatic lioness Mehek in Sajjangarh Biological Park in Udaipur is being artificially fed after being abandoned by its mother, forest officials said on Monday.
Fearing that the cub would suffer from dehydration in absence of mother’s milk, it is being artificially fed US-made milk that was brought from Jodhpur, T Mohan Raj, Udaipur’s deputy conservator of forests (wildlife), told HT.
The cub was spotted by the forest department on December 13 and taken into care of veterinary experts after observing that its mother did not feed it for the first 24 hours after birth.
He said a veterinary doctor from Jodhpur’s Machiya Safari Park was attending the cub. Notably, another Asiatic lioness had given birth to three cubs on October 22 in Machiya Safari Park and abandoned them, which led to the death of two.
The doctor had attended the surviving cub in Machiya Safari Park and “we invited him here because of his expertise in taking care of lion cubs”, said Raj.
Raj said lions generally give birth to 2-3 cubs in a single litter and the number may go up to 6. This time, however, the lioness gave birth to only one cub.
The birth of a lion cub is the first in Sajjangarh Park since its establishment one and a half years ago. It is also the first litter of lioness Mehek. The park has two Asiatic lions – one male and one female – and two hybrid lions, both of which are males.
Sajjangarh Park, inaugurated in April 2015 by then union environment and forest minister Prakash Javdekar, has lions, tigers, panthers, slot, Himalayan bears, blackbucks, wolves, foxes, crocodiles, emu etc. Of the two tigers in the park, one is a white tiger which was brought from Chennai in September.
Since its inauguration, the park saw 2.83 lakh visitors and generated a revenue of Rs.85 lakh.