“Why do White tigers’ cages smell so bad?” “Because they urinate everywhere.” “Why do they do that?”
“White tigers, or any other tigers, spray urine to mark their territories,” explained Rajesh Kumar and Ramkesh, the zookeeper and his assistant, as they fielded various questions by curious visitors of all ages at the Delhi zoo.Amid cacophony, they shared information about what do they feed the tigers, when, what’s their routine etc. White Tigers’ lineage too was explained.
The duo was accompanied by Hari Kishen, working in the zoo for 31 years. Supporting them with technical tit-bit was Riaz Khan, zoo’s curator (education) as part of zoo-visitor interface ‘Keeper’s Talk’, introduced on Tuesday coinciding with the Wildlife Week celebrations (October 1-7).
The five animals selected for the ‘Keeper Talk’ programme are: Lion Tailed Macaque, Indian Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Tiger and White Tiger and Asiatic Lion. On the inaugural day, it was the White Tiger, Asiatic Lion and Lion Tailed Macaque.
“Most zoos in foreign countries and several zoos in southern Indian states conduct Keeper’s Talk,” said Brij Kishore Gupta of the Central Zoo Authority, welcoming the move.
However, the team at the Lion Tailed Macaque drew a complete blank. The animal was given food shortly before 3 pm, the scheduled time, and remained inside the cage. The two speakers remained unattended most of the time.
Khan blamed a communication gap for the problem.