The population of Royal Bengal Tiger in the Assam State Zoo here has increased to 10 with one of its tigress giving birth to three cubs on Friday.

Zoo veterinarian B.K. Gogoi told The Hindu that the nine-year-old tigress Swati, brought from the Lion and Tiger Safari Park near Shimoga in Karnataka in 2005, was paired with Aniruddha, a free ranging tiger captured in northern Assam town Tezpur.

Dr. Gogoi was the one who captured Aniruddha on March 6, 2004 by tranquillising the tiger that killed two persons. It was the first instance of successful capturing of a free ranging tiger using tranquillisation method in the northeast.

Dr. Gogoi also said that since Swati's pairing was done with a captured free ranging tiger, their offsprings were expected to be a healthy breed. The three tiger cubs are active. Of the seven adult tigers, three are male.

Formally opened

While the birth of the tiger cubs is going to be an added attraction to zoo visitors, a large number of tourists, both foreign and domestic, have arrived to visit the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the State.

The Pobitora wildlife sanctuary in central Assam's Morigaon district was formally opened to visitors on Sunday with the park authorities deploying eight elephants to take the visitors on an exciting jungle safari. Twenty-one foreign tourists visited the wildlife sanctuary on Saturday and Sunday.

Pobitora has the highest density of rhinos in the world, five in every square km of its core area.

The sanctuary has 81 rhinos, which mostly roam around the 16 core of the total sanctuary area of 38.83 sq km.

The Kaziranga National Park, which has one-horned rhinos and the highest density of tigers, will be opened to visitors on Monday.


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