Mysore zoo has successfully introduced wild genes into its tiger stock. The tigers at the zoo have bred thrice since 2011, introducing new bloodline.

On the occasion of World Tiger Day, which is observed on July 29, the century-old zoo is elated over its success in captive breeding of tigers and introducing new strain of genes for producing stronger and healthier cubs.

Captive breeding of tigers was stepped up with the arrival of wild tigers, mainly Brahma, a 12-year-old male, which was caught in Brahmagiri forest range in Kodagu in 2008.

Manya, a seven-year-old white tigress, was selected for captive breeding with the hope of getting new white cubs.

Brahma and Manya were paired for the first time on May 16, 2011 and Manya gave birth to three normal coloured cubs. However, a female cub got severely injured due to bite from its mother and died. The two male cubs Rama and Lakshmana survived. They also recovered from hind limb weakness after continuous treatment and nutritional supplementation for two months. The two-year-old cubs were now doing well, according to Zoo Executive Director B P Ravi.

Manya was paired for the second time with Brahma this year. It gave birth to four cubs - two male and two female - on June 4. The mother and the cubs were monitored round-the-clock through CCTV cameras. Manya took good care of its cubs, which started eating small amount of meat on their 25th day. They have even started eating minced meat which helped improve their body weight, Mr Ravi said.

The mother and cubs were gradually exposed to the outside world. “Manya was furious in the beginning but got accustomed to keepers and other zoo staff. Manya and its cubs have been allowed to access the day kraal facility,” the director said, in a press release here.

With the four new-born cubs, Manya is now the proud mother of four male cubs and two female cubs.