Zoo appoints cows and buffalo experts to oversee tiger-mating

Raakhi Jagga
Posted: Sun Oct 10 2010, 04:50 hrs

While India is observing International Tiger Year keeping in view the falling number of tigers, the Ludhiana Zoo has not yet geared up for action. This point came to light at yesterday’s Wildlife Week concluding function at the Zoo where Dr Sandeep Jain, Member, Punjab State Board of Wildlife, said, “Experts in training cows and buffaloes have been appointed to look after the mating of tigers and in the past no record of breeding has been maintained in any of the zoos, ie with which family of tigers, mating is being done, when the partners were exchanged and so on which are very important points for the breeding.”

Jain added, “Experts in wildlife are needed because there is a lot of difference between cows and tigers. Gentists need to be appointed to maintain the genetic record of tigers, if we really want the numbers to grow in the state. Wildlife medicines also need to be provided for the wild animals.”

Jain made all these points to Gurbaaz Singh, chief wildlife warden who was the chief guest on the occasion. Punjab has 15 tigers and all of them are in captivity. Out of the 15, five are living in Ludhiana Zoo and the rest in Chatbir zoo.

In the recent past, a cub was born in chatbir but it died after a few days. Sources revealed that due to lack of experts, the Ludhiana Zoo staff does not take risk to allow mating of tigers. Ludhiana zoo has three tigresses and two tigers.

The last breeding in Ludhiana Zoo occured about four years ago and the cubs were shifted to Chatbir zoo. It was also stressed that zoos should be maintained on scientific lines so that the coming generations can learn about wildlife and their behaviour.

A congenial environment needs to be created for mating of tigers, rather than just leaving them in the open and only experts can handle such tasks, asserted Jain.

However, Divisional Forest Officer Daljit Singh Brar maintained that they are trying their best to ensure tiger mating with the help of the given staff.

To mark Wildlife Week, a painting competition, quiz contest and debate were organized by the Wildlife department and Care for Animals and Protection of Environment( CAPE-India). Students who won the prizes were awarded at the concluding function.



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