West Bengal: Tigress gives birth to three cubs at Bengal Safari in Siliguri
Royal Bengal tigers’ population in the park has grown to seven following the birth of the three cubs.Updated: Aug 12, 2020 18:00 IST
The authorities at North Bengal Wild Animal Park, popularly known as Bengal Safari, near Siliguri, the largest town in north Bengal, celebrated on Wednesday, when Sheela, a Royal Bengal tigress gave birth to three cubs. The raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic has led the park to be closed to visitors since the viral outbreak was initially reported in end-March.
Royal Bengal tigers’ population in the park has grown to seven following the birth of the three cubs.
“The cubs were born between 4.45 am and 7.20 am. The cubs’ gender is yet to be ascertained, as we cannot go close to Sheela right now,” said Dharamdeo Rai, director, Bengal Safari.
In May 2018, Sheela had given birth to three cubs and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had named them Rika, Kika, and Ika.
Unfortunately, Ika did not survive.
Sheela and her mate Viban were brought to the park from Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar.
Bengal Safari authorities are yet to take a call whether they will name the cubs or wait for CM Banerjee’s next visit to north Bengal.
The park, which was inaugurated by CM Banerjee in January 2016, is located on the outskirts of Siliguri and is close to Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary in Jalpaiguri district.
Spread over 297 hectares, Bengal Safari is home to leopards, one-horned rhino, Himalayan black bear, elephants, gharials, deer, among other animals; and has proved to be a crowd-puller.
The CM’s dream project has an aviary, a nature interpretation centre and a watchtower has also been recently set up.