White tiger born in Indian zoo — will this one live?

Sandeep Yadav

Chandigarh, June 6: Gullu, the white tiger cub born to Shanti and Guddu, turned two months old on Wednesday. The cub, which was rejected by its mother at birth, has started taking semi-liquid diet now, and zoo authorities believe Gullu is going to survive.

The cub has been hand-reared at the Chhatbir Zoological Park ever since its mother rejected it. And after these critical two months, the authorities believe Gullu may change the zoo’s poor record vis-à-vis white tigers. Not a single white cub born in this zoo has ever survived.

“We are not celebrating yet. Until the cub is three months old and starts taking raw meat on its own, we have to remain on our toes,” said Sharma.

Still under round-the-clock observation, the cub has switched over to semi-liquid diet as pieces of meat are being added to his soup these days. Besides, Gullu is bottle-fed 60-ml goat milk every three hours.

Dharminder Sharma, field director, Chhatbir Zoo, said until the cub starts eating solid food on its own, it would remain under vigil at the Wild Life Zoo hospital.

“Earlier, a lactating bitch was feeding it, acting as a foster mother to the rejected cub. Now, it’s being bottle-fed goat’s milk. It gives its teeth some exercise,” said Sharma. Gullu is also taken for a stroll in the hospital lawns every evening and very soon a morning walk would be added to its schedule.

Before Gullu’s birth, Chhatbir Zoo had a pair of white tigers only, which had been brought recently from Delhi. Gullu birth was a happy moment for the zoo but his survival became a big challenge for the officials after its mother refused to feed it. After waiting for around ten hours, it was separated from its mother, as carnivores often kill a rejected off-spring. Ever since, the zoo authorities have been on its toes to save Gullu.

http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=239884

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