Endangered fishing cats give birth at Alipore Zoo after years
Kolkata: The Alipore Zoological Garden has finally managed to increase the number of fishing cats in the zoo after many years. The zoo authorities are upbeat about the increase in population of the animal as fishing cat is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.”The fishing cat is the state animal of Bengal. But its population is threatened with the wetlands in the state declining severely in the last decade. So, we have decided to increase the population of the animal in the zoo. We had two pairs of fishing cats here. Now, they have given birth to three babies which means that the population have gone up from four to seven,” said Asis Kumar Samanta, director of Alipore Zoo. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”We found out that the pairs were not mating while they were in public view. So, we decided to try out something different and kept them hidden for a period of one year. This yielded fruits and they gave birth to three babies,” a senior zoo official said.The babies which were kept away along with the adult females for another period of six months have been brought in public view recently and the visitors are really excited. “We have plans to set them free in the open, once there is a further rise in their population,” Samanta said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia that live foremost in the vicinity of wetlands, along rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, in swamps and mangroves and lives on fishes. “The state government in the last few years have taken some steps in conservation of wetlands but there have been incidents when people have netted these animals and killed them. There is still a lack of awareness among people about this animal species, which is endangered and hardly attack any human being ” a senior zoo official said.