Newborn tiger cub dies at zoo

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Newborn tiger cub dies at zoo

TNN 11 November 2009, 02:59am IST

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LUCKNOW: Monday’s excitement at Lucknow zoo was dampened following the death of a newborn tiger cub on Tuesday. Ipshita, the Royal Bengal tigress, had given birth to four cubs between Sunday and Monday. “Four is a large number of litters and survival of all the newborns is difficult”, said zoo director Renu Singh.

The cub which died could have been the weakling, probably the one that took maximum time to come out of its mother’s womb. While three cubs were born on November 8 at separate timings, the last one was born on November 9. That ways it was the youngest among the siblings and a Royal Bengal tiger.

Tiger cubs have to make their own individual effort to reach their mother for regular feed. It is here that the principle of `survival of the fittest’ comes into application.

However, the tigress is still lovingly taking care of her three cubs, one of them an albino and other two, the Royal Bengal tigers. “The surviving ones are sticking to their mother and are in good health,” informed zoo director.

It is after a long gap of 14 years that tiger cubs have been born at Lucknow zoo. Last it was in 1995 when three Royal Bengal tigers — Deepali, Shefali and Rupali — were born here. Ipshita had aborted two of her cubs before.

However, people at the zoo observing Ipshita’s activities said that she has transformed from a free-spirited being to a concerned mother. Before being shifted to a separate enclosure for meals, she first shifts her cubs one by one shift to a corner by holding them in her mouth.

But, not everyone is lucky to watch the family bonding. The mother and cubs are housed at a safer location, away from public glare. Meanwhile, Shishir, the father of newborns, is happy in his enclosure enjoying the routine public greetings.

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