There is a birthday party on Tuesday at Orissa’s Nandankanan zoo and school children are invited. Officials at the zoo have ordered a special cake for the two tiger cubs that were born a year ago and a party has been arranged.

“We have invited children of various schools. We have also ordered a special birthday cake. Besides, we are going to provide special chicken diets to the cubs,” zoo deputy director Shiva Narayan Mahapatra told IANS.

“The names of the cubs have also been finalised. They will be announced during the celebration. The cubs would be shown to the visitors for the first time along with their mother,” he said.

Tigers are in danger of extinction. According to a recent World Wide Fund for Nature report, the population of tigers in the wild has come down to around 4,000 globally.

“Tigers are listed as a highly protected and endangered species. We are going to celebrate the cubs’ birthday as a part of zoo education. The motive behind such celebration is to educate tourists and visitors,” Mr. Mahapatra said.

The Nandankanan zoo, located on the outskirts of Orissa capital Bhubaneswar, houses nine white tigers and 15 others.

The female cubs who are likely to be named Khusi and Payal Tuesday were born to nine-year-old white tigress Kushum in the zoo Oct 20 last year.

Nandankanan zoo, which got its name from Nandan Van, the Garden of God, is spread over 425 hectares. It houses over 1,200 animals and offers a first-of-its-kind white tiger safari.