A white tigress at the Vandalur zoo on Saturday gave birth to three cubs, a year after delivering three other cubs.

Zoo officials said the cubs are healthy and feeding on the mother's milk. No one except the animal keeper in charge of the enclosure is being allowed near it.

The white tigress, brought from the Nandankanan zoo in Orissa a few years ago, delivered three cubs on March 23, 2009. One died within a week due to congenital disorder. The other two cubs are doing well at the zoo.

When the tigress' pregnancy was confirmed about two months ago, the zoo authorities included four kg of chicken in her diet. This was in addition to the seven kg beef given in the evening.

Enclosure covered

The authorities have also covered the enclosure with gunny bags to keep out direct sunlight.

This would also help avoid visitors disturbing the tigress and the new-born cubs.

Before the birth of three cubs last year, the zoo authorities had installed cameras to monitor the tigress' behaviour and to check whether she had any cannibalistic instinct.

However, no such arrangement was made this time, the authorities said.

The enclosure has four rooms of which three have been allocated to the mother and her newborns.

The fourth room is used for keeping the two female cubs born last year.

During the evening hours after feeding, the male white tiger is kept in the open ‘Padak' area and the two cubs are kept in the room.

In the morning, the tiger is in the room. The cubs are allowed to be in the open area.

This also allows the visitors to see the cubs playing around in the open, the zoo authorities added.

Keywords: Vandalur Zoo

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