India

Jaguar 'too fat to mate' to be sent back

A young jaguar is seen inside the enclosure at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad (11 May 2011) Image copyright AFP
Image caption This jaguar in Hyderabad does not appear to suffer from Salman's "gluttony" (file photo)

A jaguar on a breeding loan to Delhi zoo in India is being sent back as he is too fat to mate, keepers say.

Twelve-year-old Salman was borrowed from a zoo in Kerala a year ago, but has shown little interest in their female jaguar, Kalpana, the Indian Express reports.

Keepers say he reaches out for his meals "more keenly than for Kalpana".

"The female is seen trying to entice him but he lies in a corner and refuses to respond," Riaz Khan told the paper.

The Delhi zoo says it feeds its jaguars 6kg of buffalo meat a day in the summer, six days a week.

Salman eats more than a tiger, keepers claimed, and efforts to reduce his weight with a strict diet were unsuccessful.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The jaguar is found in the wild in the Americas (file photo)

"He is lazy, a glutton, just loves to eat and relax," they said.

Releasing him into the larger enclosure did not prompt him to take exercise or trigger an interest in mating.

However, the portly big cat's supporters at the zoo point out that Delhi's two male jaguars have also failed to provide Kalpana with offspring - and say that it may be the trauma of the relocation that caused his lethargy.

Salman is not the only big cat in an Indian zoo whose lack of mating interest has drawn criticism.

Earlier this year experts at Alipore zoo in Kolkata said Vishal, a white tiger, had spurned the advances of a tigress - despite being de-wormed and given libido-enhancing vitamins.

Jaguars are native to the Americas and are listed as "near threatened" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's red list.

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