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Udaipur-bound white tiger Rama puts new keepers in ‘Tamil’ soup

Updated: Sep 26, 2016 01:09 IST

By Sohail Khan

Five-year-old male tiger named Rama is being brought to Udaipur under an exchange offer with Chennai’s Arignar Anna Zoological Park. (Representative Photo)

The news of Sajjangarh Biological Park getting a white tiger has brought cheers to wildlife lovers in Udaipur, but the staff here is in a fix as the feline understands only Tamil.

The five-year-old male tiger named Rama is being brought to Udaipur under an exchange offer with Chennai’s Arignar Anna Zoological Park for a pair of wolfs from Jaipur and Jodhpur zoos, and has the approval of the Central Zoo Authority.

But the language problem is one that the officials did not foresee.

“Either the tiger learns Mewari language or the caretakers here learn Tamil,” said officials of the Park. The DFO and in-charge of Sajjangarh Biological Park, T Mohanraj, who hails from Chennai, said a letter has been sent to the director of the Chennai zoo to send along a Tamil caretaker with the tiger.

A forest department team from Udaipur, which has gone to Chennai’s Arignar Anna Zoological Park to bring the tiger, is also working on bringing a caretaker after learning about the big cat’s dialect.

Rama was born in Arignar Anna Zoological Park in 2011 and understands the commands of its present caretakers who speak Tamil.

Chief conservator of forests, Udaipur, Rahul Bhatnagar said, “We already have a female tigress, known as Damini, which we had brought from Pune zoo last year under exchange. The presence of male tiger will help in improving the tiger population.”

“There are huge numbers of animal lovers in Udaipur, and the presence of white tiger will be another attraction for them. The park witnessed a footfall of 80,000 this year and generated revenue of Rs 25 lakh,” Bhatnagar said.

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