Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 21:
Great news for animal lovers in Odisha as tigress Megha was blessed with two cubs yesterday night in Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar.
The cubs have been fathered by Nandan, the wild tiger who voluntarily walked into the zoo to mate with a tigress Sara in 2013. It may be mentioned that the Royal Bengal tiger had strayed into the zoo on April 30 in 2013 and escaped after jumping off an 18 feet high wire-fence a month later on May 31.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) asked the Odisha government to keep Nandan in the zoo after it again broke as it had already acclimatised itself to the zoo surroundings.
The zoo officials had kept Nandan away from female company for six months to a year to find out which tigress he was attracted to and help him adjust to the zoo environment.
Since, the big cat had made its way to the zoo apparently to mate with the captive zoo tigress Sara, they were allowed to mate. But a triangular love story of Megha, Sara and Nandan had started with Megha, the tigress developing a soft corner for Nandan.
She badly injured Sara when the tigress by mistake ventured into Megha’s den. After Sara was admitted to the veterinary hospital, Megha and Nandan were put in the same enclosure and cupid struck.
Megha became pregnant and was kept secluded under the care of the zoo authorities for the 94 to 104 days gestation period. She gave birth to the two cubs at the enclosure number-31 yesterday night, according to sources.