They died of hunger after they were abandoned by their mother
The euphoria over the birth of five cubs, including a white one, in the Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP) here did not last long as all the newborns died on Friday.
On Wednesday, Priyanka, the 11-year-old tigress, gave birth for the first time. Soon after giving birth the mother abandoned the cubs and refused to feed them.
“We don’t see anything unusual in the incident. Priyanka had become mother for the first time. Even in the wild, such rejection leading to deaths happens,” said Siba Narayan Mohapatra, deputy director of NZP. There was no way one could make the tigress feed her cubs, Mr. Mohapatra said.
Till date, 347 cubs were born in the zoo. The birth of five cubs at one go is said to be a rare phenomenon. Normally two to three cubs are born at a time. In the history of the Nandankanan Zoo, only on three occasions have the birth of five cubs been recorded. On two occasions, all five cubs died. In the other instance, three survived.
According to zoo sources, animal keepers had been observing the deteriorating health of three cubs since Thursday evening. The mother was not found near the cubs. After post-mortem, it was found that the cubs died of acute hunger.
In fact, the birth of a white cub had thrilled the zoo authorities as a normal-coloured Royal Bengal Tiger pair had given birth to a white cub after 11 years. At present, the premier zoo has 24 tigers; 10 of these are white ones.
Big Cat Rescue’s Comment: Where are the 347 cubs who were born at the zoo? They can live into their twenties, but the zoo only has 24 tigers now. The very fact that they refer to their white tigers as “Royal Bengal Tigers” shows that they are misleading the public. The only way to produce white tigers is through severe inbreeding and this was done to such an extent that most cubs were being born dead. The zoos then began hybridizing Siberian and Bengal tigers, which is like breeding a labrador to a poodle, in order to continue to get white cubs. As long as the public will stupidly pay to see white tigers the bad guys will inbreed and cross breed to fill that demand. As long as ignorant people will pay to see cubs the bad guys will continue to breed and discard them when they are no longer money makers.