Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park, known as Ranchi zoo, got two royal Bengal tigers on Tuesday from the Nehru Zoological Park (NZP), Hyderabad.
The NZP offered the big cats to Ranchi zoo under the Central Zoo Authority’s animal exchange programme. In return, Ranchi zoo gave pairs of hyena and leopards to NZP.
Wildlife lovers and zoo officials in Ranchi were upset after the death of three tigers in the zoo between December 15, 2014 and December 22, 2015. The zoo had been left with only one tiger, called Shiva, since then.
The new entrants -- two-year-old Anushkha (tigress) and four-year-old Mallick (tiger) – are expected to make the Ranchi’s zoo-breeding programme a success.
“We will take extra care of the new entrants. Their habitat in zoo has been sanitised. The pair will also be kept under special vigil of experts for next one month,” said Ranchi zoo director Ashok Kumar.
In 2009, the zoo authority had brought a pair of big cats from Mysore Zoo for breeding. The pair gave birth to three in 2010 but they died within a week due to poor health.
Ranchi zoo claims that it’s the only zoo in the country where leopard cats breed successfully. “We have brought a pair of leopard cats from Guwahati Zoo in 2012. Now, their population in the zoo is 10 excluding the pair given to NZP,” veterinary surgeon Dr Ajay Kumar said, adding that four leopard cats were born in the zoo on February 21.
The population of hyena in the zoo is seven after giving a pair to NZP.
Sprawled over 104 hectares, the zoo is home to 1000 animals of more than 70 species. With natural dense forests and water bodies, the zoo is considered a natural habitat for several endangered species. The zoo is visited by around five lakh people every year.