RAIPUR: Some risky but cautious decision making by the authorities of a mini-zoo in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh has led to an impressive increase in the strength of big cats lodged in its confinement.
The ‘Kanan-Pendari’, zoological park in Chhattisgarh, presently has four tigers and six litters as surplus.
The park authorities have now proposed to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to shift the surplus big cats to other zoos based on demand generated.
Officials of the state forest department said that zoos across the country avoid breeding among tigers or lions owing to the apprehension around the matter of mating turning dangerous.‘Kanan-Pendari’ though, decided to carefully evaluate the potential risks regarding mating behaviour and even attempted paring of tigers and lions.
“We took the risk followed by our guarded observations of the behavioural signs and intimations among the animals. We feel delighted since no zoo has achieved such impressive track-record so far. Today we have four tigers and six lions as surplus and are to be shifted”, said V K Chourasia, the superintendent of the Kanan-Pendari zoo.
The mini-zoo, which can hold up to six tigers and lions each, has already exchanged both tigers and lions with few major zoos across the nation.
“Being a very delicate issue, usually the risk on the breeding of big cat population and lion is avoided in a zoo since the mating is furious and may also lead to casualty. We took the chance three years back and it was a success. Gradually, with more experiences we further improved the situation,” the officer added.
Ironically, the park’s good work is in stark contrast to the performance by other tiger reserves in the state.
The total count of tigers in the state reserves of Chhattisgarh came down from 46 in 2014, to a dismal 19 in 2018, as per the latest census.