Giraffe dead in Hyderabad Zoo

Bubbly, a four-year-old female giraffe at Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad, breathed its last on Wednesday, following some disorder affecting the lungs.

The animal had sleeplessness and lost appetite for the past one week and was on medication. It was being treated by the veterinary team at the zoo, a source at the zoo told The Hindu. With its death, the 380-acre city is left with only two Giraffes — Tsunami Basant and Sunny.

The Zoo Director and Curator Dr. Siddhanand Kukrety and VVL Subhadra Devi, respectively, did not respond to the repeated calls by this correspondent to deny or confirm the news officially.

Bubbly along with Sunny (6) were brought from Alipore Zoological Gardens, Kolkata as part of an exchange programme in March 2019. A month later, after quarantine, the newly-acquired pair of giraffes were put in their enclosure for public display.

“Both of them were in good health and have acclimatised themselves to the zoo. But, for the past few months not many animals are being taken care of like earlier. Bubbly was sick for a long time and it came to notice of the higher-ups only a week ago,” an animal caretaker at the zoo said.

Finding a mate for lone giraffe

Before their arrival, a 17-year-old male giraffe Tsunami Basant was leading a solitary life for the last 10 years, for want of a mate. The 13-feet-tall animal was born on Basant Panchami day at the National Zoological Park, Delhi, after the 2004-tsunami, hence the name Tsunami Basant. It was brought to Hyderabad in 2009 and ever since then the zoo officials failed to find a mating partner for the giraffe.

In the event of a zoo failing to find a mate for a single and unpaired animal within a period of six months, the single animal should be transferred or exchanged or given on breeding loan to any other zoo in accordance with the rules specified by the Central Zoo Authority.

After several national and international attempts, the NZP officials had found a young female giraffe for Tsunami Basant at Kolkata zoo. But in December 2017, in an unfortunate accident, the young giraffe which was headed for the NZP died during transportation.

In another attempt, a giraffe from Alipore Zoological gardens, panicked in its cage because of the welding work taken up after loading the animals on a flat-bed trailer. As she was getting agitated due to the sparks and fumes, the animal tried to get out of the cage, placed on a trailer. When the giraffe jumped out of the cage, it slipped and fell on the ground resulting in serious neck and leg injury causing instantaneous death, the official said

Giraffes are extremely sensitive and social animals.

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