Mysuru: The calf, which was born to giraffes Babli and Bharat, on Tuesday night, died on Wednesday.
The new-born calf did not have suckling reflex and though the Zoo staff tried to feed bottle milk, the calf did not drink milk and passed away late on Wednesday night.
It may be recalled that a few years ago, a calf born to giraffe named Hani had died as Hani refused to feed its young one. Later, Hani started to feed her young ones and the number of giraffes in Mysuru Zoo increased.
Mysuru Zoo is known for its successful breeding of giraffes for the last three decades. Two-and-a-half-years ago, a male calf born to Babli and Bharat was given to Assam Zoo.
Reacting about the loss, Zoo Executive Director Ajit M. Kulkarni said: “We are shattered by the loss. The calf didn’t have a suckling reflex and all our efforts to feed him went in vain. This is for the first time that a calf failed to suckle. On earlier occasions, mothers had rejected their young ones and calves had died but for the first time the calf didn’t have the sucking reflex. It died of natural causes.”
He claimed the mortality rate in giraffes in the wild is 50% but under controlled conditions, death happen hardly ever.
The authorities were happy after Babli, daughter of Kushi, became pregnant for the second time. Her first calf is hale and hearty. The Zoo currently displays eight of the tallest terrestrial animals in captivity.
Mysuru Zoo is one of the few Zoos in India to breed giraffes successfully for decades and the only one in Karnataka. It had given giraffes to Zoos across India including Patna (Bihar) and Bannerghatta National Park.