Giraffe Iconic Animal of Mysore Zoo
Giraffes are world’s tallest and fascinating animals. It the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant.
Mysore Zoo is very famous for housing Giraffes, and especially for children as soon as they enter the Gate, they are attracted by the sight of Giraffe, standing tall, attracting everyone.
Now the Zoo has housed five Giraffes including ‘Lakshmi’ the young one darling of the crowd, aged around 2 years, which is adopted by the International Cricketeer Sri. Anil Kumble.
Mysore Zoo has got a very good track record of recording and breeding Giraffes in the past, but the entire population wiped out during 1980’s, due to epidemic diseases.
But again the glory brought back to Mysore Zoo, when Honey and Henry, received from Germany Zoo, on exchange programme during 1988. Honey the female and Henry the male Giraffe were born during 1987.
Both Henry and Honey were very young and lived in perfect harmony.
Birth of Giraffe Calves:
The female Honey successfully bred and gave birth to 9 calves, out of which only 4 male calves could survive. Unfortunately the mother Giraffe rejects the newly born calf every time, the Zoo vets take over the responsibility of hand rearing Giraffe calf which is continuous process for 9 months duration under Hygenic nursing care.
The details of birth of young calves are as follows:
|1.||Henry||Honey||24/5/1992||Male||Rejected by Mother-Death|
|2.||Henry||Honey||23/10/1993||Male||Rejected by Mother-Death|
|3.||Henry||Honey||6/4/1995||Female||Rejected by Mother-Death|
|4.||Henry||Honey||6/10/1996||Male||Krishnaraja||Hand reared from day one at Mysore Zoo. Now proud father of Lakshmi.|
|5.||Henry||Honey||27/8/1998||Male||Chamaraja||Hand reared from day one at Mysore Zoo.|
|6.||Henry||Honey||5/5/2000||Male||Narasimharaja||Transferred to Trivandrum zoo.|
|7.||Henry||Honey||7/12/2001||Male||Yuvaraja||Hand reared from day one at Mysore Zoo|
|10.||Krishnaraja||Kushi||26/12/2009||Female||Lakshmi||Good maternal care by mother.|
From the above table it could be seen that first 3 calves and last 2 calves died due to Honey (the dam) rejected young ones. Hence four males survived are viz Krishnaraja, Chamaraja, Narasimharaja (sent to Trivandrum) and Yuvaraja. Since both Henry and Honey (parent stock) died on 8/3/2002 and 30/10/2007, respectively, the three males were left without female companion.
The vital technical guidelines of hand rearing of giraffe calf was received from Los Angeles Zoo of United States of America, when Honey delivered her 4th male calf on 6/10/1996. The said Giraffe calf was successfully hand reared for the first time in India under the utmost health and nursing care, and thereafter this Zoo could successfully hand reared 5th, 6th, 7th calves.
Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore is in fact 4th in the world to hand rear two giraffe claves successfully, which speaks volumes of the expertise gained in the management of hand raring of Giraffe calves.
The crucial factor in the hand rearing of Giraffe calf is the availability of cow’s colostrum of a healthy Jersey cow, which should have given birth to a calf on the same day. The colostrum is fed every 3 hours once for 1st 9 days.
Kushi the female joined 3 males, on 2007 from Lucknow Zoo on exchange programme and Krishnaraja, the male partner and Kushi successfully bred to give birth to her first calf ‘Lakshmi’ the female calf on 26/12/2009. At present Kushi is pregnant.
Five Giraffe exhibited in the Zoo are:
Yuvaraja Kushi and Lakshmi