BENGALURU: This World Cup season, it is not just people who are naming their newborns after cricketers. Zookeepers have also joined the trend by naming the animals after their favourite players.
Two sloth bear siblings, who were rescued from a well in Tumakuru after 48 hours, have been named Mahi and Mithali in honour of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Mithali Raj. They are now housed at Bannerghatta Wildlife SOS Centre.
The Indian men’s cricket team skipper seems to be the most popular of all cricketers among the zookeepers here, as the Centre is already home to another animal named Dhoni, who was rescued in 2005.
Mahi and Mithali were brought to the Centre a year back, and were recuperating in the intensive care unit because of their poor health. After they fell in the open dry well, their mother had succumbed to her injuries. The well was located on a private agricultural field bordering the forest. Since then, Mahi and Mithali have been under the care of bear Ankita, their foster mother.
Apart from Mahi and Mithali, the Centre is also home to Julia. Impressed by Julia Roberts from Pretty Women, the animal keeper had named its bear Julia. Another sloth bear, who was rescued at the time when famous Bollywood movie- Gajani was released, has also been named after the movie.
Interestingly, both Mahi and Mithali respond to their names when called by animal keepers.
Staffers said that they have kept up to their names, and have shown zeal to rise above their ailments. They have also displayed exemplary courage.