Af­ter tiger’s death, ex­tra care for Rita, zoo’s old­est

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: Af­ter the death of an 8-year old Royal Ben­gal tiger, who had been ill for over two months, at­ten­tion has quickly shifted at the Delhi zoo to Rita (58) — a chim­panzee — who is the old­est an­i­mal at the zoo, as well as the old­est chim­panzee in the coun­try.

Rita has been un­well for over two weeks now and has been shifted to a liq­uid diet. A spe­cial team has been asked to take care of the an­i­mal. “Rita was able to have solid food last week. Her con­di­tion, how­ever, de­te­ri­o­rated re­cently and we are now pro­vid­ing her all vi­ta­mins and min­er­als through a liq­uid diet. She is quite fond of dry fruits, which we now crush and grind be­fore mak­ing a paste for her,” said Riyaz Khan, Delhi zoo cu­ra­tor.

Rita was recog­nised as the old­est chim­panzee in the coun­try by the Limca Book of Records ear­lier this year. “Ear­lier, she would run around and meet peo­ple, but she largely re­mains in­side her cage nowadays,” said Khan, adding that mango-flavoured drink is her favourite.

“We mix her medicines with the mango drink. All care is be­ing pro­vided to her as we want Rita to cel­e­brate her 60th birth­day,” Khan added.

Born in 1960, Rita ar­rived at the Delhi zoo from Am­s­ter­dam in 1964 in an ex­change of demoi­selle cranes. At the zoo, she was paired with a male chim­panzee, Max. Rita was also loaned to Ch­hat­bir zoo in Pun­jab in 1985 but re­turned to the Delhi zoo again in 2006.

Ear­lier this year, Limca Book of Records recog­nised Rita as the old­est chim­panzee in the coun­try

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