Powerful roar of white tigers will soon reverberate in Madhya Pradesh's Vindhya region as the world's first White Tiger Safari would begin in Rewa, which was once home to this rare breed of the big cats.
"The world's first White Tiger Safari would begin soon at Mukundpur near Rewa where the first white tiger was spotted by erstwhile ruler Maharaja Martand Singh in 1951 from Sidhi forest area (it was named as Mohan)," Madhya Pradesh public relations minister Rajendra Shukla said on Friday.
Initially, two female white tigresses would be brought to begin the Safari and later a male white tiger, too, would be introduced to them for multiplication, he said.
"Nearly 99 per cent work on the Safari has been completed and it would be launched anytime next month," the minister said.
The white tiger was caught by Martand Singh on May 27, 1951 from Sidhi district's Bargadi forest area and later the animal was brought to Govindarh Palace in Rewa from where it escaped the very next day and then again found in Mukundpur area about 26-27 km away from Rewa.
Mohan then remained in the area for over two decades and its progenies spread gradually to other parts of the world, Shukla said.
"Though its progenies made their home in different parts of the world and zoos, they were found in their place of origin till 1976 only," he said.
"Now, the white tigers would roar again in the area after nearly 40 years once the safari would begin," the minister said.
The zoological park already existing in Mukundur will now be known as "Mukundpur Zoo and Mohan White Tiger Safari" while the breeding centre will be named after Maharaja Martand Singh, he said.
Madhya Pradesh 'Madhyam' will also exhibit the entire history of white tigers at the Safari to abreast the visitors about its origin and how it was first found in the forest area near here by then Maharaja Martand Singh.
Quoting historians, Shukla informed that after Mohan came in contact with a white tigress, Radha and later when their progenies multiplied, a total of 114 white tigers were found on Earth at time in different sanctuaries and zoos across the world.
Mohan's last progeny was identified as Virat who mated with Sukethi. But Virat died on February 2, 1976, following which Sukethi was shifted to Delhi.
The plan to bring white tigers back to their origin was formulated when Shukla was the forest minister of the state in 2008 and later it was sent to the Centre for approval.
The proposal was approved on July 5, 2010 by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest and the Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi, gave its nod to the layout plan three years later.
"If everything goes as per plan, then Vindhya region of the state will reverberate with the roar of white tigers next month," he added.