The death of a white tiger because of snakebite has prompted Kamla Nehru Zoological Park administration to put a thin wire mesh around all the animal enclosures.
The two-year-old white tiger, Rajan, died on Saturday morning after a black cobra bit it following a fight between the two inside the tiger's enclosure.
Kamla Nehru Zoological Park in-charge Dr Uttam Yadav said this was the first such incident at the zoo since its establishment in 1972. "But, we will take every possible precaution to avoid similar incident in future," he said.
"As part of precautionary measures, the authority will put thin wire mesh across all the cages, build trenches and put board at some part of cages to block the entry of crawling animals inside the cages," Dr Yadav said.
At present, the Indore zoo has more than 65 cages that house as many as 432 different wild animals and birds.
The zoo official said they would also trim grass inside and around cages so that they can easily notice any crawling animals around it. About two years ago, a snake had entered the enclosure of two tigers through the nullah but the tiger killed them after a brief encounter.
The black cobra which was paralysed after the battle with Rajan is recovering well but it is still under observation, Dr Yadav said. "One-third part of the snake is still paralysed. It will take time to recover completely," he said.
Once the snake recovers completely, the zoo authority will free it in the forest so that it does not harm anyone.
'Breeding programme to go on'
Talking about the breeding programme of white tigers and challenges ahead for Indore zoo after Rajan's death, Dr Yadav said, "The show must go on. We can't ignore Rajan's death but we can't stop our ambitious breeding programme," he said.
The next and foremost challenge before the authority is to search for a new male white tiger. "We already have three white tigresses — Diya, Shivani and their mother Sita, but there is no male white tiger," he said.
The two-year-old Rajan was brought to the Indore zoo to increase the population of white tigers.
White tigers reach sexual maturity when they are about four years old. On an average, one to six cubs are produced in a litter. Compared to normal tigers, white tigers tend to be larger at birth as well as in adulthood. Earlier, four-year-old white tigress Riddhi was exchanged for a B1 yellow tiger from Van Vihar, Bhopal.
Recently, B1, a man-eating yellow tiger, was brought from Bhopal and mated with Shivani, a white tigress housed at the zoo. The union produced four cubs on September 5 this year, but only one of them survived as three cubs died while the tigress was carrying it from one place to another.
Indore zoo fact file
Area: 4,000 sq metre
No. of cages: More than 65
No. of animals/birds: 432
Read: Black cobra's bite kills white tiger at Indore zoo, snake paralysed