Zebra, Albino Cobra and Anaconda gives birth in Zoo

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July seems to be the month for new arrivals. As the world rejoiced at the birth of a Royal baby in England, here at the Dehiwala Zoo there was much happiness at the birth of a Zebra, baby Anacondas and Albino Cobras. It all began on July 7 with the arrival of a baby Zebra. Its mother had come from far away Xianjiang Safari Park in China and her little one is in good health and up for public viewing, Zoo sources said.

The proud mother and a calf

The other births were among residents of the zoo’s Reptilian. The birth of Green Anaconda babies on July 17 was followed by White Cobras the next day. Anacondas do not lay eggs and this time there were 31 little Anacondas. One died at birth but the rest are doing well according to the Education Officer of the Zoo, Nihal Senerath. The adult pair of Anacondas arrived in 2003 from the Czech Republic and this was their fourth brood. The birth of the first baby anacondas, 23 of them in 2008, was greeted with great media hype, but unfortunately all died. These were followed by 22 in 2009 and 18 in 2011. Some of them survived and some were sent to a Zoo in India.

Anaconda babies

Zoo keeper showing a baby Anaconda

AlbinoCobra_did you see their hood

The baby Albino Cobras

Pointing out that the female Anaconda is now about 18 feet long and can grow up to 30 feet, Mr. Senerath said it was not feasible to keep a big family of Anacondas at the zoo. The adult anaconda pair have to be given 10 to 15 chicken once in two weeks and space would become an issue when the little ones grew into adulthood. To overcome this problem zoo officials are looking at exchanging these reptiles with snakes from zoos in other countries.

After setting up cots for the new born Anacondas the keepers at the Reptilian couldn’t take a well deserved rest as more babies were expected the next day. These were 11 fairy white Albino Cobras who had to be handled with caution, as they were venomous. The Dehiwala Zoo currently has six adult Albino Cobras and one pair had laid eggs on May 1. Reptilian keepers put them in special hatching pots with adequate warning.

Albino Cobras belong to the same species as other cobras, scientifically known as Naja naja. They become albinos due to a lack of melamine in their skin. They have red eyes that are sensitive to sunlight and prefer to hide in wooden boxes with holes that provide ventilation. Many of the Albino Cobras at the Zoo’s Albino cobra family were caught in the Piliyandala area according to senior zoo keepers.

Published on SundayTimes on 28.07.2013 http://www.sundaytimes.lk/130728/news/zoo-keepers-have-hands-full-with-baby-boom-54642.html

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