BHUBANEWAR: The Center for Wildlife Health (CWH) at OUAT Bhubaneswar has formed a multidisciplinary health team to tackle infertility in certain species of wildlife, especially big cats, and encourage conservation breeding of endangered species .
The team including doctors of veterinary medicine, gynecology and surgery visited the zoo to check on the infertility problem of the lioness Radha and others, as well as the feeding deficiencies and dullness of the pangolins.
Zoo sources said Radha, a lioness brought from Bangalore, only gave birth to cubs twice in 2015 and 2017, while her sister Rukmini, brought from the same location, was unable to breed during over the past 11 years.
Radha’s daughter Kalpana, born in 2015, has also not been able to conceive in the past six years, although lionesses in captivity usually begin to breed after the age of four. Two female Indian wolves and two female wild dogs were also not able to breed even after the age of three.
The zoo enlisted the team of experts to ensure these felines and canines don’t lose their reproductive potential, which could otherwise hamper the zoo’s conservation of endangered species.
An ultrasound of the lioness Radha’s reproductive system was performed by the health team on Wednesday, while samples were taken from pangolins and other animals to treat their health concerns. Deputy zoo director Sanjeet Kumar said, if necessary, they could seek help from the health team to perform hormone therapy on felines and dogs.
According to NZP research, the birth rate of herbivorous species in the zoo has remained much higher than that of carnivorous species. Improving the birth rate of felines and canines will help the zoo in its animal exchange program as well as in its rewilding.