Bhubaneswar: Interestingly, a close bonding has developed between a lion cub and an animal keeper in Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP) of Bhubaneswar, as the man named Prashant Gouda has been looking after the big cat baby for past six months since its birth.
However, videos of the animal keeper Gouda and the lion cub Barsha passing their times together went viral on social media Saturday.
A source said that lioness Bijli had delivered two cubs – a male and a female – including a still born at Nandankanan Zoo in July, 2021.
Bijli was a first time mother and the male cub died just a day after birth despite good efforts made by the zoo authorities and animal keepers. However, the female cub was reared by Gouda as he was assigned charge for it. The three cubs including Barsha were born as a result of mating between lion Samrat and lioness Bijli in the zoo premises.
“Owing to unknown cause the lioness Bijli abandoned the lone alive female cub. Since then, the cub developed animal-human relationship when it was adopted by animal keeper Gouda,” the source stated.
In the meanwhile, Gouda and Barsha have become very friendly with each other. The animal keeper also takes care of the cub like his own child. With a call from the man, Barsha runs to him. If he asks it to sit, the animal does it happily and the two play with each other for hours, every day. During return, he also pats and hugs the big cat baby.
It is pertinent to mention here that during the last six months, the animal keeper Gouda was taking the cub for bath, feeding regularly and taking all care. As Barsha has become six-month-old now, it is very high time that the growing animal should be accommodated in an enclosure along with other lions and be allowed to live with them.