THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Thiruvananthapuram Zoo’s wild cat population will increase with the arrival of the six-year-old leopard, captured last month in Kannur after high drama from a railway track and brought to Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, next week. It was on March 5 that officials of the forest department and the police who spotted the wild cat near the railway track hardly a kilometre from the Kannur railway station. After several hours of efforts by the forest officials, the three-year-old was tranquillized and transported to Neyyar the next day.
K. Gangadharan, Museum and Zoo director, said the forest officials had been finding it difficult to take care of it. “The forest officials have informed us that the leopard is tamed and not showing wild instincts now. They are finding it difficult to feed him and cannot be freed into the wild,” he told this paper. Meanwhile, Jahnvi, the female leopard, also three-year-old and captured from Kannur one and a half years ago, had given a scare the other day to the zoo authorities when it destroyed its enclosure and came out. Fortunately, the danger was averted, and the wild predator returned to the animal house. She is yet to come to terms with the zoo environment.
Like a wild cat, she eats her food only during the dark and does not adjust with her two female companions and a male. When the zoo authorities tried to mate Jahnvi with Ganesh, she broke open the enclosure much to the horror of them. “Fortunately, Jahnvi could not stray into outdoors. She entered the animal house instead. Even now we can’t believe that she did a ‘Houdini Act’ as it was next to impossible to break the hard metal door,” said a zoo official. What is worrying them is with the arrival of the new inmate and Jhanvi and Ganesh not co-operating and mostly accommodated at the animal cubicle inside, the enclosure is going to get crowded. Currently, there are three females and a male here.