August 28, 2016 3:20:55 am
THERE IS a sense of jubilation among the staffers of the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park at the Chhatbir as their efforts to bring Chirag and Laksh closer have paid off. From Tuesday visitors to the zoo will be able to view Chirag, a royal Bengal tigress, and Laksh, a white tiger, together in the same enclosure.
Months ago, the zoo management decided to test the “compatibility” of Chirag and Laksh. The larger objective behind this move was to expand the tiger population in the zoo. For visitors to the zoo, the tiger is the most sought-after animal.
What has brought joy to the zoo staff is that despite their initial growling and snarling at each other, Chirag and Laksh have developed a mutual affinity. After months of testing them out in separate but connected enclosures, zoo officials are now confident of putting them together in one enclosure as a “couple.”
“If everything goes to plan, we will put the animals on display on Tuesday”, said zoo director Manish Kumar. “Now, they love each other’s company. As the weather was not favourable earlier, their public display was put on hold. But now the weather is conducive so we are taking the call to put them on display,” said Manish Kumar.
The development of compatibility between a tiger and tigress is a long process and has to be handled carefully because they could attack each other sometime as big cats are protective of their territories. As part of the process, first they were put in adjoining enclosures so that they could get used to each other’s smell.
The other positive development is that Dia, a white tigress, appears to be pregnant. “We are conducting the required test in this regard. As of now we are expecting the increase in the tiger population as Dia is expected to deliver after sometime”, said one of the zoo official.
In preparation for the big day, Dia has been separated from her partner Aman, a Bengal tiger with whom she had been living for long, added an official.
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