May 18th, 2008 – 8:08 pm ICT by admin
Bhopal, May 18 (IANS) The Van Vihar national park here received its much-awaited male tiger from the Kanha national park in the state. The tiger has been named ‘Kanha’ after the park from where it was brought. The three-year-old male tiger has been released in the park here to promote breeding of the big cat, a park official said Sunday.
Of the 11 tigresses, seven are physically fit for mating, but Kanha would be kept with either `Ira’ or `Basni’, two tigresses. Kanha has now been quarantined and after the park authorities study his habits he would be shifted with a tigress to a big enclosure for mating.
“Kanha would first be kept under special observation for at least 15 days for preventing any possible infection,” said Atul Gupta, a veterinarian.
It is also necessary to study the nature and habits of the big male before leaving it with any tigress. The mating process is also complex as the tiger basically likes solitude and often attacks any other male tiger, which comes near during the mating period.
After the death of a few male tigers in the recent past, the park was left without any male tiger. The park authorities, who were desperately searching for a male tiger, are now planning to bring a white tiger from either Hyderabad or Guwahati.
`Yishu’, the last male white tiger here, died a few months ago. The park has two white tigresses.
The park had three white tigresses but a three-year-old white tigress ‘Rashmi’ succumbed to a jaw injury she sustained during a brawl with another tigress March 18 this year.
Nine big cats have died at the national park in the past one-and-a-half years, with the last tiger death reported Thursday.
Bhopal Van Vihar has been identified by the Central Zoo Authority for breeding of tigers, but 11 young tigresses have been waiting for a partner for the past five months.
State Minister for Forests Vijay Shah, who formally handed over the tiger to the park authorities Saturday, said: “The arrival of the tiger at the park would help in the breeding programme of the species.”