THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: We have heard much about the White Tiger that is to arrive in Thiruvananthapuram, from the Nehru Zoological Park in New Delhi. By now, some of us would have scanned every article about the animal on the web. What we know little about is that a jaguar will be sent to Delhi from here, as soon as the White Tiger comes.
Salman, the lone male jaguar in City Zoo, will be sent to Delhi by air. He is not going forever. The zoo here has agreed to a breeding loan with the Delhi zoo. As part of the deal, he will stay in Delhi, until one of the female jaguars there has a progeny. If two cubs are born, one will travel with the father to Thiruvananthapuram.
Without the breeding loan, the line of jaguars in both the zoos would have come to an end. Though the Delhi zoo has a male jaguar, it has not been able to successfully mate with the female jaguars there. Salman, on the other hand, has a strong mating tendency, but his partner in Thiruvananthapuram zoo, Sangeetha, is past that stage of her life.
Sangeetha is very old, and has undergone numerous operations. Salman’s attempts at mating is annoying to the old lady. Just last year, when Salman tried to be playful, she pushed him off. He reacted by clenching her paw between his teeth.
While trying to free her paw from his jaws, her skin bled, her bones cracked. Her paw had to be sewn together in a surgery, and to this day the zoo officials consider her recovery a miracle.
Salman will be sent in the same crate that the White Tiger arrives in. He will fly on an empty stomach as the pressure variations during the flight can cause vomiting, which can lead to lung aspiration. He will be leaving as soon as the White Tiger comes in. When will that be? The Director of Department of Museums and Zoos, B Joseph said, “Some of the captains are not ready to fly with a tiger on board. As soon as all formalities are completed, it will be sent to Thiruvananthapuram.”
Before he leaves, let’s bid Salman adieu.