Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has requested Odisha government for a pair of white tigers from Nandankanan zoo for the zoo-cum-rescue centre that is coming up at Mukundpur near Govindgarh in his state.
In a letter sent to chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday, Chouhan said that Madhya Pradesh can gift a pair of normal (coloured) Bengal tigers to the zoo in Bhubaneshwar in return.
Wildlife officials of Odisha maintained that they will consider the request of Madhya Pradesh government after analyzing the matter. “We have not received the letter from the Chief Minister yet. We will discuss the matter and take steps accordingly,” said PCCF (wildlife) JD Sharma.
In 1953, a white male tiger was captured by Maharaj Martand Singh of Rewa princely state in Madhya Pradesh. This tiger, after mating with a normal coloured tigress, fathered white tiger cubs in captivity. The breeding programme went on for long and the cubs were sold or donated to various zoos in India and outside, the letter said.
The new zoo-cum-rescue centre at Mukundpur would have a breeding centre, which would be named after the late Martand Singh, to acknowledge his efforts on captive breeding of white tigers, Chouhan said in his letter.
With three male and seven female white tigers, Nandankana zoo has become famous for its successful breeding program, the letter notes.