Indian Zoo Breeds “Endangered White Tigers”
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India’s Lucknow Zoo in Uttar Pradesh has initiated a program to breed white tigers and to take them off on the endangered list. So tiger Aryan and tigress Sona are being tended with utmost care.
[Renu Singh, Director, Lucknow Zoo]:
“As you know in India, the population of tigers has reduced. They are a highly endangered species, especially the white tigers. White tigers are not found in the wild (except the Rewa region in Madhya Pradesh). They can only be found in zoological gardens. Our zoo’s objective is to breed these endangered species. So, we are keeping them and looking after them. They are under observation.”
This pair attracts many visitors.
The cubs born to Sona in the past did not survive. This time the zoo authorities are taking extra precaution in monitoring the breeding and the delivery of cubs.
White tigers get their color, including blue eyes and chocolate stripes, through an unusual genetic condition and are sometimes bred intentionally as exotic zoo animals despite the risk of birth defects.
The overall population of tigers has decreased in the country. India is losing about 200 to 300 tigers a year due to poaching and other development projects eroding the natural habitat of tigers and other animals.