City Reports

Asiatic lioness, Tejika, gives birth to 3 cubs at Nahargarh Biological Park in Jaipur

Wildlife lovers overjoyed, Tejika learnt motherhood lessons by watching wildlife documentaries on TV

May 23, 2017, 2:20 pm

lion tejika at nahargarh biological park jaipur

File photo: Lioness Tejika at Nahargarh Biological Park in Jaipur.

Jaipur: An Asiatic lioness at Nahargarh Biological Park has brought cheers to wildlife lovers in Jaipur. Forest department officials celebrated on Sunday when the lioness, named Tejika, littered three cubs. It is for the first time in the last 29 years that a lioness has given birth in Jaipur. Read Also: Nahargarh Biological Park: one cub of lioness Tejika dies, another battles for life According to preliminary reports, all the three cubs were healthy and a team of experts was keeping a close tab on how Tejika behaved around them, forest department officials said. The lioness littered the first cub around 6 pm on Saturday, the second 9.30 pm and third around 12.30 am on Sunday. "The lion triplet is very beautiful and we are happy to see that they are being fed by their mother since their birth. Their survival will depend on this," said senior veterinary officer, Jaipur Zoo Dr Arvind Mathur. He added that it was impossible to determine the gender of the cubs so early. The cubs and their mother are being kept in a secluded area. "We are keeping a watch on them through CCTVs. No one is being allowed to go near them as any kind of human intervention at this point can cause the lioness to abandon the cubs. The next 48 hours are very crucial," said Mathur. The development will make it possible for the state government to works on its plan to introduce lion safari around Nahargarh Biological Park. Read Also: Lion safari in Nahargarh Biological Park to become a reality soon Tejika was shifted to Jaipur Zoo from Junagarh in Gujarat. The officials were worried whether she would be able to take care of cubs like the lionesses in the wild. She had been battling diseases since she was shifted to Jaipur. She even suffered from paralysis. "She survived against all odds and developed a great chemistry with the lion, named Siddhartha," said Dr Mathur. Last month, the forest department officials had put up an LED TV and were showing Tejika documentaries on how lions behave around their cubs in the wild. Tejika used to watch these documentaries intently, a forest department officer told The PinkCity Post. The five-year-old lioness had been brought to Jaipur from Gujarat nearly one and a half years ago. She was shifted to Nahargarh with another Asiatic lion Siddhartha. “We made her watch documentaries of wildlife in the forests of South Africa and Gir national park (Gujarat),” said the officer. She learns the lessons of motherhood from these documentaries. The video lessons included how to raise cubs, how to behave around them and how to move them after taking them in the mouth. It was for the first time in Rajasthan that such an experiment was tried. “We will now see how successful we have been in our experiment. It would be interesting to see how she would raise her cubs,” said the officer. Last week, a lioness littered two cubs at Machia biological park in Jodhpur, but accidentally killed one of them when she took the cub in her mouth. Sharp teethes pierced the cub’s body, causing its death on the spot. The other cub was also injured. “She was moving around with one of the cubs in her mouth. It’s natural, but since the lioness was rescued from a circus, she never experienced motherhood and how she should behave. She never lived in the wild,” said a forest department officer. Besides, there had been some cases where cubs were abandoned by their mothers in other wildlife parks in the state. One such case happened at Sajjangarh biological park in Udaipur where a female cub born to Asiatic lioness Mehek was artificially fed after being abandoned by its mother. Note: Want to share this story with someone? Just click on the WhatsApp or Facebook icon below:

First published: May 21, 2017