Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubanesswar, Oct 5:
Five tiger cubs, born in the Nandankanan Zoological Park, near the Odisha capital now have an identity of their own.
While celebrating their christening ceremony on Saturday, the zoo authorities steered clear of controversies by avoiding naming anyone after any politician.
The four cubs that were born on July 28, including a rare melanistic cub with significantly large black stripes, were named Anini, Krishna, Shenhanshu and Rocky.
Another cub born nine months ago to tigress Priyanca was christened Sheela.
The cynosure of all eyes is, of course, the rare melanistic tiger cub. It may be noted here that a melanistic tiger was captured on camera in the Similipal National Park’s core area in Mayurbhanj district in June last year.
While Sneha, a four-and-a-half-year-old white tigress, had given birth to the four cubs, Manish, an eight-year-old Royal Bengal tiger, is their proud father.
The cubs, however, will be available for public display only after a year as per the guidelines of the central zoo authority (CZA).
“We are taking extra care of the tiger cubs. Since they are too small, they will be under 24/7 CCTV surveillance,” said a zoo official.
The zoo authorities are extra cautious as the death of five tiger cubs last year had sparked a row and questions were raised over the care and management of animals by the zoo authority.
The Nandankan zoo is currently home to 27 tigers including eight white tigers while rest are Royal Bengal tigers (RBT).
Earlier on January 13, 2012, three normal tigers were born to tigress Sara and a white tiger Rishi.