Mysuru; A female zebra foal, born to mother Prachi and father Rishi, has become the newest inmate of the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, said a zoo official on Saturday.
"Mother and the foal are healthy and doing well. The parents are proud of the foal, which was born on October 16. The sprawling zoo houses four female zebras and three male zebras," the zoo Director said in a statement here.
"After a year-long gestation period, mares give birth during night. The labour lasts for 8-10 minutes and the foal can run around by an hour," an official said.
The foal is protected from other herd members by its mother and the herd's dominant stallion.
A zoo official added that the over a century old Mysuru zoo has a long date with the zebras with the first pair brought to it in 1990 from Germany's Hamburg.
"After their death, the zoo acquired male zebra Raja from Lucknow, which died due to infections in 2010. In 2014, two pairs of zebras were brought in from Ramat Gan National Park, Israel. However, one pair died in December 2015 due to acute colic and the other pair - Riddhi and Sudhir - were the first one to become parents in 2016 in Zoo environment," the official explained.
One of the oldest and most popular zoos in India, the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens is spread over 157 acres near the palace in Mysuru and is home to a wide range of species, currently totalling 168.
Created from the private menagerie of Maharaja Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar in 1892 on 10 acres of the palace grounds, it was expanded to 45 acres, with spacious enclosures that are still in use, in the next decade.
Originally called the Palace Zoo, it was renamed Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in 1909. A.C. Hughes was the zoo's first superintendent.
The zoo was handed over to the Forest Department in 1972, and was entrusted to the Zoo Authority of Karnataka -- the first autonomous organisation in India to manage a zoo -- in 1979.
The zoo completed 100 years in 1992.