Crocodile breeding farm
Earlier on in the 90’s the reptile enclosure was established. The ideology was to exhibit and to breed them. This eventually became a mega breeding project. The Marsh crocodile bred thoroughly and now in 2012, the park consists of 100 plus adults/sub-adults and nearly 125 young ones. The breeding center is now around 10 acres in area which consists of a massive in length lake, marsh and swampy environment. Around 40 egg laying/hatching points and scientifically designed hatcheries that can hold up to 400 young ones at a time for at least 2 yrs. Now the total covered area of Samzu after establishing the crocodile breeding farm is 30 acres. How ever an extension of 12 acres can be done in order to promote the breed. The estimated breed over a yr would increase by at least 75%.
Under natural and farmed conditions, marsh crocodiles in Sindh nest primarily during the hot and moist season between late June and July. A female lays only one clutch of eggs in a nesting season with an average number of 40 eggs. The , soft-shelled eggs are an average of 8 cm in length and 5 cm in width. The eggs are laid during a single laying event, normally at night or early in the morning, into a previously constructed mound nest constructed of soil and vegetation.
In the wild, female marsh crocodiles will reach sexual maturity at around 12 of age (2.3 metres) and males around 16 years of age (3.35 metres). In comparison, crocodiles raised in captivity reach sexual maturity at 5 and 7 years of age, respectively for females and males. When a female first reproduces, the number and size of the eggs is small. Additionally, fertility is generally poor and survivability of any resultant hatchlings is reduced. However, after three or four breeding seasons, the number of eggs, egg size, fertility and embryo survivability increases substantially. But in captivity we have experienced a successful hatching and the survival of the young ones.
Up coming breeding programme
Breeder crocodiles on the farm are held in a variety of pen designs including unitized pens (one male and one female), pens with one male and multiple females, and large billabongs housing large numbers of both males and females. The breeding pens with one male generally produce more fertile eggs and, therefore, more hatchlings compared to the crocodiles kept in the billabongs. The additional advantage of pens with one male is for farm management purposes where identifying the parents of hatchlings bred on the farm allows genetic improvement programs to be implemented
Breeding crocodiles in captivity poses a number of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is collecting the eggs from the nest. Only highly skilled and experienced personnel are permitted to collect the eggs. The other major challenge is introducing crocodiles to each other. The territorial nature of male crocodiles not uncommonly results in the female being killed. To overcome this problem, the females are introduced into the pen first and allowed to settle in before the male is introduced. Pens are also designed with the number of waterholes equal to the number of crocodiles destined for that pen. This allows each animal to seek refuge in a separate waterhole.
Courtesy Article By: Dr.AA. Quraishi.
In a spacious green park as a bevy of educated and cultured ladies discussed weather, flowers and fragrance in a salubrious environ, the tide turned suddenly to the perplexing word green thumb. That confused many followed by possibilities like the art of embroidery and stitching.
When it was explained that it meant any person having the inborn faculty of planting a sapling that shall take roots and grow well, it meant he had green thumb. If the plant died or refused to prosper, it was deduced that he or she did not possess a green thumb. That did not synchronize with the female psyche; they interpreted that it had to do something with luck. One of them explained that if the lady had green thumb she would be lucky and if not she would face failures and bad luck.
That perked up every one to find out the mystery behind green thumb and wanted if something could be done to verify it. It was agreed then and there that each one will plant a sapling and find out after say six months or so if it thrived. They were eighteen saplings of the same age; same species and health were procured and planted by allocating a serial number to each plant to discover after the prescribed period which sapling was planted by whom.
The picture shows all saplings, now aged two years in flower and good health to prove that every one of them had a green thumb which is an uncommon phenomenon.
The scribe had been in the emerald surroundings of the zoological gardens for thirty years and had planted hundreds of saplings in the long period, out of which only fifty percent thrived. My wife has a green thumb. Every sapling of rose and “Karhi Patta” she planted came up well. The ex-director of the horticulture, the celebrated A K Khan fared as low as myself but his Mali working in his bungalow had a green thumb. There is no hard and fast rule to find out the green-thumb-person; it is possible only by watching the plant’s growth, nor is there any scientific explanation about this propensity.
It is inborn; if a person does not possess a green thumb he or she will be like that throughout the life nor is there any guarantee that his or her offspring will inherit the gift on birth.
It has of course, no relation with any omen or luck. Anyone with poor green thumb must agree that he was born like in him or her. This emerald canopy of yellow Kaner (Nerium oleander) carries an important and indelible history for Mr. Ruknuddin khan Sahib’s family, when a coupie of year ago, they planted it in memory of the special day when distinguished ambassadors, diplomats, trade commissioners, Consul Generals and elites were invited in one of the best privately owned and managed zoological gardens in the country.
Each tree, now in full bloom, testifies that every member had a green thumb which confirms the legend that those with this attribute are lucky and blessed by divinity.
Indian Star Tortoise
The headline is a metaphor and a reality as well, because all tortoise do emerge from the soil where the mother had buried the eggs, which generalization stands true of the marine turtle species as well, because unlike some snakes species (the viper and the anaconda of brazil that give birth to live young ones), all species of this family do not know their mama nor the mama can recognize the offspring by smell or sight.
One of the interesting phenomenon in this very low type of animal with which the intellect and evolutionary status is weighed, is the ability of the grownup turtles to distinguished the beach where they developed, popped their heads from the shell and smelt the first gush of the coast aroma, which is different from the air on land. This smell gets embossed on their centre of smell in the brain and guides them all their long life to reach the salubrious sands of the beach of their birth once more.
This is vital for the egg-laden female from wasting her energy by swimming here and there to bury her precious load when she returns to lay them to ensure the continuation of the race.
In a wrong beach the eggs will get destroyed and one generation of the endangered species will fall short of the optimum level of population. Nature had designed for them for the survival.
It is for sure that any turtle returning to lay eggs on Sandpit Beach of the Arabian Sea near our polluted Metropolis was born and bred here by foraging on the local algae and eating miniscule invertebrates floating free in the lapping water nearby. The menu included very young, dreaded blue bottle, the size not much large than our lentil.
The photograph you see is of another, rather hard to obtain breed—-the star tortoise of Southern India and Sri Lanka —–both locations famous for following the cult of non violence rules for safeguarding their fauna and flora.
Tortoise are not only slow to move but also to breed for the obvious reason that they live long and have few, if any, enemies, except man; in fact, they are the longest living creature in the animal world. The famous tortoise fetched by Darwin from the Galapagos Island died a few years ago in England, after living for over a century.
Any birth of a tortoise in captivity is rejoiced by the keepers and the owner. Samzu as well, where they were born and are doing well by eating health-giving menu of the vegetables, soaked gram. They refrain from touching meat of any kind.