In its bid to make it a big attraction, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park which recently got a sanction of $6 million by the World Bank, has revived captive breeding of white tigers after a gap of nine years.
“A white tiger pair has started mating and there are good signs. We are expecting the delivery of cubs either by end of March or first week of April,” Curator B. Vijay Kumar told T he Hindu on Saturday.
The zoo has two male and three female white tigers and a pair of lions. Delivery of white tigers takes 101 to 105 days from the date of pregnancy. Crossing of two giraffes which were brought from Malaysia in 2014 is yet to yield any result.
Captive breeding of tigers was last done at the zoo in 2007. It was discontinued due to space constraints and lack of demand for exchange of wild animals with other zoos.
Lion breeding is not contemplated as the pair the zoo has belong to Asiatic species. The zoo does captive breeding of various species of deer including hug deer, Bengal deer and four-horned deer or Chousingha, wild dogs and bison. Incidentally, the zoo has 28 wild dogs – the highest in any zoo in India.
World Bank aid
The World Bank came to the rescue of Hudhud-devastated zoo recently by sanctioning $6 million to make it an ecological park of international standards. The zoo is spread over 625 acres in close proximity to Kambalakonda Reserve Forest.
The Forest Department has already sought expression of interest for reputed consultants for preparing master plan for the zoo’s landscaping and development under the Andhra Pradesh Disaster Recovery Project.
The consultant will also be mandated to prepare a detailed feasibility report for developing the zoo on international standards by spending the World Bank funds within two years.
The bank team which recently visited the zoo made it clear that if required they would enhance the grant as and when required.