State Zoo welcomes Simba, Sultan and his sister amid COVID-19 pandemic

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No plan to open zoo now, says forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Aug 13: The State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden has welcomed a lion and two tiger cubs that were born a week apart in May amid the nationwide lockdown restrictions.

The news has been made public only now after the new-borns were found to be in good spirits.

The lion cub, a male, was born in early May and the two tiger cubs, a male, and a female, were born a week later.

The state forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya shared this information through his official twitter handle. “Glad to share with you all that our lioness and tigress have given birth to one lion cub and two tiger cubs at @assamzoo during the lockdown period,” Suklabaidya tweeted.

He also added that the zoo family has named the lion cub as ‘Simba’ after the popular protagonist from the Disney blockbuster ‘The Lion King.’

Though the zoo is a big attraction among the public in Guwahati and others across the Northeast, it has been closed since March to contain COVID-19 situation in the state.

There is no immediate plan to reopen the zoo anytime soon, despite the fact that lockdown restrictions have been largely eased across the most-populous and COVID-19 worst-hit state in the Northeast.

Established in 1957 and spread over 175 hectares in the middle of Guwahati in the Hengrabari reserve forest, Assam state zoo, which has 1,040 wild animals and birds of 112 species, is the biggest zoological park in the north-east region.

“The lion cub, which was born to Vicky and Rani, has been named Simba after the character within the lm Walt Disney musical drama, The Lion King. “The tiger cubs have been born to Dhanush and Kazi,” Tejas Mariswamy, divisional forest officer (DFO), Assam State Zoo.

“The male tiger cub is known as Sultan. Nonetheless, we’re but to resolve on Sultan’s sister’s identify. We’re in search of a reputation that youngsters may relate to. All options from the general public are welcome,” he added.

“A male golden langur, an uncommon species, was additionally born through the lockdown interval,” Mariswamy added.

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