Wed, 06 Dec 2023

Feature: Rare white tigers revive zoo in Bangladesh

Xinhua
03 Dec 2022, 02:05 GMT+10

CHATTOGRAM, Bangladesh, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- There has been an absence of tigers in Bangladesh's Chattogram zoo of late, with Chandra and Purnima passing away in 2006 and 2012, respectively.

In December 2016, however, two Royal Bengal tigers, Raj and Pori, were brought to the zoo from South Africa.

The zoo, which is located at Bangladesh's seaport city Chattogram, about 242 km southeast of the capital Dhaka, has since been blessed with four newborn white tiger cubs.

The tiger cubs were born in July this year to the Royal Bengal tiger couple Raj and Pori.

In 2018, Pori gave birth to Shubhra, the first white tiger in Bangladesh.

As one of the rarest species of tiger, the white tiger has typical black stripes but carries a white or near-white coat. Their unique white fur has made them popular at zoos worldwide.

Officials said the birth of the white cubs was a blessing for the zoo as well as for local and foreign visitors.

The cubs, the second litter since tiger couple were brought to the zoo, were named Padma, Meghna, Sangu, and Halda. They are all in perfect health.

Zoo authorities said they are committed to taking good care of them and attending to their needs.

The zoo's staff had already carried out all necessary work to give the zoo a facelift as well, amid rush of visitors.

With Raj, Pori and their pride including the white cubs, the zoo has seen a revival and is attracting more tourists and animal lovers.

"I saw four white tiger cubs here and I really liked them," Alicha, a visitor to the zoo, told Xinhua recently.

Alicha, who uses single name, said, "They are so cute."

She said she came to the the zoo with her family members mainly to see the white cubs.

Many visitors can be seen walking around the outside of the enclosure of the tiger cubs, as the little cubs play with their mother.

Doctor Shahadat Hossain Shubo is the deputy curator of the zoo. He said the first white tiger was born here in 2018 and is now four years old.

Following that, four more white tiger cubs were born this year, he added.

"Including these four, we have a total of five white tigers. All five white tigers are in good health," said Shubo.

He said, "In our breeding program here we monitor the tigers separately from birth and when we know that they (tigers) are in prime condition for mating, we mate them and then keep the female tiger in separate enclosure."

"Then we can monitor the mother tiger's pregnancy and be ready for when she gives birth," he said.

"Only one white tiger is born in every 10,000, so now many people come to see the white tigers," he added.

"The white tiger cubs are beautiful. Naturally, we watch them closely, so that they don't get into any kind of trouble," said Shubo.

Shubo said they monitor them closely so that people do not disturb them and they get proper food and remain healthy.

"When the COVID-9 pandemic fully eases and tourism returns to normal in the world, we will invite tourists from all over the world, including China, to come and visit the zoo," said the zoo official.

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