Tragedy struck the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden in Guwahati after a female rhino succumbed to her injuries after a failed mating attempt.
Shanti, a one-and-half year old female rhino could not bear the load of Gaobura, the two-year-old male rhino and fractured her backbone. Gaobura proved to be comparatively much heavier than Shanti when he mounted on her during a mating attempt initiated by the zoo officials.
The mating attempt was initiated on Friday and the female rhino succumbed to her injuries on Saturday inside the zoo premises. The female rhino also bore severe bruises all over her body.
The two rhinos along with a third one was brought from the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) at Bokakhat in Golaghat district to the state zoo last year.
Talking to media, the Divisional Forest Officer of the state zoo said, “The male rhino forcibly tried to mount on the female and fractured her backbone. The female rhino succumbed to her backbone injuries apart from severe bruises all over her body”.
The male rhino has been immediately separated from the other female rhino after the mishap.
After getting alerts from one of the keepers, the veterinarians of the zoo tried all their means to treat the female rhino by administering pain-killers and other drugs, but she did not recover.
Zoo officials kept the three rhinos in the same enclosure as they were all hand-raised together at the CWRC, and did not anticipate such a catastrophic fall-out.