Mumbai: The 160-year-old Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Zoo has got two new star attractions – Royal Bengal tiger cub ‘Veera’ and Humboldt penguin chick, aOscar’, officials said here on Tuesday.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar performed the naming ceremony of the two new additions to the VJB Zoo family in presence of zoo Director Dr Sanjay Tripathi and other officials.
The male cub was born to the Royal Bengal Tiger pair Shakti and Karishma on November 14, while the penguin chick was born on August 19.
Being cared for by their respective parents, the two new-borns remained out of public glare since their birth and were revealed for the first time during their official christening ceremonies on Tuesday.
The Royal Bengal Tiger pair was acquired from Aurangabad Zoo in February 2020, while the colony of 8 penguins – the first of its kind in India – was brought here from Seoul in 2016.
‘Oscar’, born to the pair Mr. Molt and Flipper, became the third penguin chick to be born in the VJB Zoo in the past six years.
The other penguins living here in an ice-cold enclave are Donald, Daisy, Popeye, Olive, and Bubble. Dory, who could not survive and died on October 23, 2016 owing to a bacterial infection.
A penguin chick born to Mr. Molt and Flipper in August 2018 had died a week after birth, but their second offspring ‘Oscar’ is now doing well, while a male chick was born to Donald and Daisy in May 2021.
Spread over lush green 50-acres in south Mumbai’s Byculla, the VJB Zoo is among the oldest in the country, run by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, and has plans to introduce other exotic animals like jaguars, giraffes, etc.