The Telegraph
Friday , August 31 , 2012
 
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Capital awaits tiger cub

Call it Assam’s aid for Ranchi’s roar.

To buoy its captive-breeding programme, Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park is bringing in a tiger cub from Kaziranga National Park.

The six-month-old royalty is expected to arrive only by December-end, but in anticipation of her visit, zoo officials are already on their toes recreating the perfect natural habitat for mating for which the cub will be ready in a few more months after it settles in the zoo.

“A 4,000sqft enclosure complete with vegetation, shade and water pools is being readied. We have also decided to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to monitor the breeding programme closely,” said zoo director P.K. Verma.

Birsa zoo has been left with just one tiger couple — Sugreev and Durga, nine-year-old — after 19-year-old Salim died in February last year. Verma said they were also planning to bring a pair of tigers from Itanagar zoo in Arunachal Pardesh under an animal exchange programme. “The proposal has been approved by Central Zoo Authority (CZA),” he added.

The zoo director stressed that they needed young tigresses to bolster the big cat count and hoped that the breeding programme would be successful.

“Tigers are solitary animals and need a peaceful spot to breed. Mating may occur all year round, but is generally more common between November and April,” he said.

The tiger wing of the zoo has two adjoining enclosures — each with a dry moat on one side and a chain link mesh on the remaining three sides.