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White tigers may roar in City zoo

KAMLA NEHRU zoo may soon resound with the roar of the rare white tiger. The Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) administration is moving to acquire a pair of big white cats from the Aurangabad (Maharashtra) zoological park under the animal exchange programme.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 15:43 IST

KAMLA NEHRU zoo may soon resound with the roar of the rare white tiger. The Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) administration is moving to acquire a pair of big white cats from the Aurangabad (Maharashtra) zoological park under the
animal exchange programme.

The City zoo will hand over ghariyals and crocodiles in return. Aurangabad zoo authorities have already agreed in principle
to the transfer and the proposal is currently awaiting nod from the Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi.

If cleared, the transfer of the magnificent felines will not only provide the zoo with a stellar attraction but also add much needed dynamism to its ageing population of big cats. Although the zoo has four Royal Bengal tigers they are all males. Attempts to have them mate with females from other zoological parks in captivity have proved abortive and, as a result, numbers have remained stagnant.

Though two lionesses and a lion are housed in the City, they are all way too old, 16-17 years, to add to the zoo’s leonine population.

“The exchange, if it is cleared by the CZA, would provide a major attraction to wildlife lovers. Furthermore the pair’s offspring could be traded in return for other rare species adding to the City zoo’s catalogue,” asserted Kamla Nehru vet Dr Devendra Porwal.

Asked about probable stumbling blocks in the exchange Porwal cited lack of free tiger cages. “However, we are in the process of building new cages at Qaidi Bagh taken over from the Jail department for zoo expansion,” he pointed out.

Zoological parks parting with rare animals usually demand some monetary compensation from the recipient City. Porwal, though, foresees no problem with this either. “There is a Rs 20 lakh budgetary allocation for purchase of animals and the money can be paid from this head,” he said.

White tiger
BORN TO Bengal tiger parents that carry the unusual gene needed for its distinctive colouring the white tiger has blue eyes, a pink nose, and a cream fur covered with chocolate stripes.

A full gown male can reach a length of around 3 meters long and weigh anywhere between 180-285 kg.
Solitary by nature the big white cat is, for the most part, a nocturnal hunter.

Although excellent swimmers white tigers are slow runners and very poor climbers. They compensate for this by remarkable stealth, which allows them to nab any prey within sight.

The Bengal variant along with Siberian, South China, Indochinese, and Sumatran make up the 5 sub-species that currently form the tiger family. Three others, Bali, Javan and Caspian, have become extinct.

First Published: Jan 23, 2006 15:43 IST