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Bird enclosure hums with new life

THE BIRD enclosure at the zoo is humming with the chirping of about 25 young ones. Silver Pheasants and the Budgerigar birds have given birth in the worst sultry weather this year.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 00:02 IST

THE BIRD enclosure at the zoo is humming  with the chirping of about  25 young ones. Silver Pheasants and the  Budgerigar birds have given birth in the worst sultry weather this year.

Zoo director R Hemant Kumar told HT that  the Silver Pheasants gave birth to six babies while the Budgerigar birds gave birth to about 16 babies this summer. He said till last year the birds laid eggs but the egg shells used to get ruptured before hatching. A close study of the birds was conducted  and it was found that the egg shells cracked or ruptured due to deficiency of calcium.

Consequently, this time additional dose of  calcium  was supplied to these birds and the results were  rewarding. Intake of adequate calcium developed white and strong egg shell, fit for hatching.

Kumar said this time the calcium tablets given to human beings were  given to the birds by grinding and mixing in their feed instead of the routine  birds calcium.

Kumar said the zoo had been fortunate enough this summer as none of the birds fell sick or died despite the spread of bird flu.  Proper health management and additional medical care of these “little-friends” helped them to sustain the weather’s vagaries, he added.

However, Australian birds including Mollucan Cacatua, Sulphur crested Cacatua and White Cacatua did not  give birth to new ones.

To keep the birds well protected, zoo authorities have covered their enclosure with khus curtains which are kept drenched in water to keep the inmates cool inside the aviary. Besides, they were being given anti-oxidants mixed in their feed everyday to provide required body resistance to the birds, Kumar said.

About the wild leopard which was caught at Sandi village in Hardoi by the Lucknow zoo veterinary, Dr U Shukla on May 20 and that was later shifted to Kanpur Zoo on June 8, Kumar said the animal had not started taking full meal.

“We give him  six kgs of meat which includes 20 percent bones and 80 percent  flesh , but it hardly consumes two or two and a half kg of  meat everyday. His intake of water  is also a bit abnormal,” Kumar said.