Bhopal zoo to get 10th Royal Bengal Tiger

Van Vihar, a home for orphaned animals in Madhya Pradesh will soon get its 10th Royal Bengal Tiger.

Updated: Apr 26, 2011, 14:31 PM IST

Bhopal: Van Vihar, a home for orphaned animals in the heart of the Madhya Pradesh capital, will soon get its 10th Royal Bengal Tiger when a three-year-old male from Assam arrives here.

"We cannot tell the exact date as the Assam wildlife authorities have yet to inform us, but we got information from the national zoo authorities that we will get another Royal Bengal Tiger from Assam," Van Vihar`s assistant director A.K. Khare told IANS.

The tiger, Vivek, is currently at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) at Borjuri near the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. It is expected to be brought this week. The centre is run by the Assam Forest Department in collaboration with NGOs International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).

According to Abhijit Bhawal, IFAW-WTI veterinarian at the centre, Vivek has been there since Dec 27, 2007, when as a six-month-old cub, it was rescued by the forest department from Hathikhuli tea estate on the fringes of Kaziranga and admitted to the centre.

Noting that it was the first time a tiger was being transferred from the rescue centre, he said the big cat would be moved in a truck with two doctors and two animal keepers to ensure that it reached its destination safe and sound. The journey to Bhopal is expected to take about three days.

Spread over 445.21 hectares, the Van Vihar National Park was established in 1983. Although, having the status of a national park, it is developed and managed as a modern zoological park following the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority.

The animals are kept in their near-natural habitat as far as possible. Most of the animals are either orphaned and were found in various parts of the state, or those exchanged with other zoos.

All the tigers in Van Vihar are Royal Bengal Tigers.

"As of now, we have nine Royal Bengal Tigers and we have got facilities to keep 20 such tigers. That is why the national zoo authorities have instructed Assam authorities to send this one here," said Khare.