Mysore/Mysuru: Minister for Forests, Ecology, and Environment, Eshwar B. Khandre, officially named the three adorable lion cubs at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, commonly known as Mysuru Zoo, yesterday.
The cubs, born on August 5, 2022, to Raju and Nirbhaya, have captured significant attention and have become a highlight of the Zoo. The names chosen for the cubs are Surya, Chandra and Kabini, with Surya and Chandra being male and Kabini being female.
As young cubs, they spend most of their time playfully cuddling around their mother, brimming with energy and enthusiastically exploring their enclosure. Visitors to Mysuru Zoo have been enchanted by the playful antics of Surya, Chandra and Kabini, who have recently become the centre of attention.
Although the cubs have been available for public viewing since January of this year, they were not officially named until now.
The birth of these lion cubs is a significant achievement for Mysuru Zoo, as it marks the first successful breeding of Asiatic lions in captivity in Karnataka after more than eight years of dedicated captive breeding efforts by the Zoo authorities.
Raju was brought to the Zoo in 2019 from the Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden, while Nirbhaya arrived in 2021 from Nandan Van Zoo and Safari in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, as part of an animal exchange programme. The Zoo authorities have been closely monitoring the health and behaviour of the cubs, ensuring they are in good condition.
The captive breeding programme of Asiatic lions plays a vital role in the conservation of this critically endangered species. With only around 600 individuals remaining in the wild, the breeding efforts at Mysuru Zoo are crucial for the survival of these iconic lions.
Minister Khandre expressed his vision of transforming the Zoos in Karnataka into exceptional wildlife education centres, aiming to showcase them as the finest in the country.
During his first visit to the Zoo, the Minister expressed his delight and praised the Zoo authorities for their excellent care and nourishment of all animals, highlighting the importance of every living being, including insects, birds, and animals, having the right to live on Earth.
In response to media queries, the Minister assured that the Government would take various measures to further develop and transform the Zoos.
He mentioned initiatives such as the construction of a railway bridge to prevent human-wildlife conflicts, particularly concerning elephants and crop damage. The Chief Minister has approved a Budget of Rs. 120 crore for this purpose.
The event was attended by key officials including Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Member Secretary of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka G.V. Ranga Rao, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Kumar Pushkar, Executive Director of Mysuru Zoo D. Mahesh Kumar, Deputy Director A.J. Roshni and Assistant Director Dr. J.L. Srinivas.