Shiva, the rhino, heads to Delhi to find a soul mate

Aug 13, 2013, 01:14 IST | Sujit Mahamulkar

After being alone for the last 28 years, the 34-year-old rhinoceros will be shifted to the Delhi zoo for the purpose of breeding

He has been celibate for the last 28 years and his wait for a companion might be coming to an end, at last. Shiva, the one-horned rhinoceros at the Veermata Jijabai Bhonsle Udyan at Byculla, will be moving to Delhi to find his soul mate.

Living the single life: Shiva, who was brought to the Byculla zoo in March 1985, has been single for the last 28 years. Authorities have tried to find him a partner from Tamil Nadu, Assam, Karnataka, West Bengal, Bihar and even from Berlin, but with no positive results

The 34-year-old single horned rhinoceros will be shifted to the National Zoological Park, Delhi on Wednesday after attempts made by the authorities to find him a mate failed.

As per the Recognition of Zoo Rules, 2009, it is mandatory for every zoo to acquire mates for single, unpaired animals on priority basis. In the event of any zoo failing to find a mate for the lonesome animal within a period of six months, the animal shall be transferred to another zoo for breeding purposes.

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has asked authorities at the Byculla zoo to start the transfer process for Shiva after failing to find him a mate after being a resident of the zoo since March 4, 1985 when he was brought from Assam State Zoo, Guwahati.

Confirming the shift, an official from the Byculla zoo said that a team from Delhi would be arriving late on Monday evening and would take a day to prepare for Shiva’s transfer.

“We tried to get Shiva a companion from Tamil Nadu, Assam, Karnataka, West Bengal, Bihar and even from Berlin but with no positive results. The CZA has directed us to shift Shiva to the Delhi zoo,” said Anil Anjankar, director of the Byculla zoo, adding that except for being all alone, Shiva had no other medical complications and was healthy.

And in Shiva’s place, zoo authorities plan to open a swamp deer exhibit, according to the new proposal.

Did you know?
>> A normal lifespan of a rhino is about 45 years
>> A full-grown male rhino can be 6.5 feet in height, 12.5 feet in length and 2,500 kilogram in weight 

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