KOLKATA: A week after Valentine’s Day, love is still in the air, with most yearning for a partner. And Roopa is no different.
The sole white tigress of the Alipore Zoo here, caretakers noticed, was turning restless and refusing to eat.
The only two white tigers in the zoo are Roopa and her brother Vishal. Wary of inbreeding, which is liable to make offspring vulnerable to diseases, zoo authorities have decided to bring in another tiger to keep Roopa company.
“Rishi from Nandankanan in Odisha is going to be Roopa’s partner. Both are 11 years old,” Alipore Zoo director Ashish Kumar Samanta said on Saturday. Rishi, along with two other tigresses Payel and Sheela and another tiger Snehashish, has reached the zoo and permanently reside here. The seven tigers in the zoo have become old and with this induction the zoo will be home to younger tigers, namely Sheela and Snehashish, who are just two-years-old.
Vishal, who is also a white tiger, does not seem to like mixing with yellow and black striped Royal Bengal tigers. And hence, Payel and Sheela will be good mates for him.
A zoo official said, “They will not be for public display for some time. Roopa and Rishi will be kept separately in an enclosure.”
Nandankanan Zoo authorities are not returning empty handed. In exchange they are taking six-year-old Joy, a giraffe.