| Swarna, the tigress, at Patna zoo |
Patna zoo officials are all smiles as the four Royal Bengal Tiger cubs, born a month back, have survived.
The zoo officials have been extremely careful this time after the death of three tiger cubs born to Swarna, the same tigress that had given birth to another set of quadruplets, in August 2012.
Though the tiger quadruplets turned a month old on April 4, the zoo employees, including director S. Chandrashekhar, have not yet entered the enclosure in which the cubs and the mother have been kept. They are being monitored through a closed-circuit television camera installed inside the enclosure.
“The initial few days are considered crucial for the survival of feline cubs. The three tiger cubs born to Swarna in August 2012 died one after the other within three weeks of their birth because of canine distemper, a viral disease. However, the situation is positive this time and the cubs and the mother are healthy,” said Chandrashekhar.
The zoo officials had conducted the mating of Swarna with a tiger, Bhima, in November 2012. Bhima and Swarna were brought from the Hyderabad zoo in August 2011 under an animal exchange programme.
“The tiger cubs are consuming only mother’s milk now as the food intake starts generally after four months. Swarna, on the other hand, is being given around 10-12kg of beef, chicken and half-boiled liver per day. We have put up straw and hay on the iron nets and frequently sprinkling water to keep their enclosure cool,” Chandrashekhar said.
The zoo director added that the tiger cubs would be put for public display after six months. With the addition of the quadruplets, the total population of tigers at the zoo has increased to eight. The zoo already had two pairs of adult Royal Bengal Tigers and normal tigers.
Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, Patna, has sent a proposal to Central Zoo Authority for an animal exchange programme with Mysore zoo.
Volunteers of People for Animals rescued a nine-foot-long python from Goghradih village of Madhubani district on Saturday and handed it over to Patna zoo on Sunday.