Tigers, lions and panthers continue to be the cynosure of all eyes at Dr. Shivarama Karanth Biological Park which has completed 10 years' of its existence.

The park, which was opened on January 12, 2001 with a few animals, now has 550 mammals, and 80 reptile and bird species, according to its director H.J. Bhandary.

It is the only biological park in the State being managed by Pilikula Nisargadhama Society, a registered society, with a governing council approved by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for controlling zoos.

Mr. Bhandary said the CZA had listed the park under the category of major zoos. The primary objective of the park was to conserve and breed endangered species found in the Western Ghats. It also functioned as a rescue centre for orphaned animals. A recent addition of such an animal to the park was a two-month-old panther cub.

“The orphaned panther cub was rescued from near Bajpe. It is now in the rescue centre and is being hand fed. The cub will be reared in the park,'' Mr. Bhandary said.

The park has four male and three female tigers. The male tigers have been named as Raja, Vikram, Kumara and Kadamba. The tigresses have been named after the major rivers in the region — Sharavathi, Netravathi and Shambhavi. There are two male (Siri and Bharat) and two female (Sara and Victoria) lions in the park. The park has six panthers of which, three are females. Four panthers have been named as Shwetha, Karna, Chandu and Shankar.

Mr. Bhandary said that each tiger and lion was fed with 6 to 10 kg of meat daily except Sunday. Each panther was fed with 6 to 7 kg of meat daily except Sunday.

Scientific officer at the park Jerald Vikram Lobo said that the animals were subjected to health check-ups twice a day. In morning, while letting them out of the animal houses to display enclosures and in the evening, when they returned to the houses. They were fed late in the evening as they were nocturnal beasts. They were given de-worming tablets after stool test or once in three months. They were vaccinated once a year. Mr. Bhandary said that Sunday's starvation helped animals in digestion.

He said the carnivorous animals were fed late in the evening and the herbivorous during the day.

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