White tigers in MP: CZA rejects proposed vet hospital design

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has rejected the design of a proposed veterinary hospital at the zoo and rescue centre at Mukundpur in Madhya Pradesh.

Updated: Sep 24, 2013, 18:32 PM IST

New Delhi: The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has rejected the design of a proposed veterinary hospital at the zoo and rescue centre at Mukundpur in Madhya Pradesh, a move likely to delay relocation of white tigers to the facility from Odisha.

The CZA`s decision was conveyed to Madhya Pradesh late last month. The authorities are now gearing up to overcome deficiencies suggested in design of the proposed veterinary hospital by the authority.

"The design for the construction of veterinary hospital at zoo and rescue centre, Mukundpur, Satna, was placed before the meeting of the expert group on zoo designing of the Central Zoo Authority held on August 7, 2013. After detailed discussion the design was not approved," said the CZA letter on August 22 to Chief Conservator of Forests of Rewa Circle.

The letter suggested changes in the design of proposed hospital for white tigers.

"The design of the structures for life time care facility should follow as of enclosure design prescribed for animal housed in the zoos, in case the structures created for housing animals for transit period, the structures size may be reduced appropriately in consultation with members of the expert group on zoo designing," it said.
State Principal Chief Forest Conservator (Wildlife) Narendra Kumar had on September 16 written to Chief Forest Conservator of Rewa for "necessary action" on the basis of CZA`s letter conveying rejection of design and giving suggestions.

On September 10, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh wrote to his Odisha counterpart Navin Patnaik requesting for a pair of white tigers from Nandan Kanan Zoo.

"We have come to know that there are three male and seven female white tigers in Nandan
Kanan Zoo which has earned a good name in breeding of white tigers. We will be highly grateful if you can donate us a pair of white tigers of young age from Nandan Kanan Zoo. If required, we can exchange them with a pair of normal coloured (yellow) tigers," Chouhan said in his letter to Patnaik.

Two days after Chouhan`s letter, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (APPCF) Jitendra Agrawal wrote to Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Odisha asking him to give at least one white tiger for Mukundupur Zoo.

"There is undue haste by Madhya Pradesh government to bring white tigers from Odisha before the code of conduct becomes applicable. We have requested Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan to ensure the implementation of rules and regulation in the whole exercise of relocation of white tigers," said Bhopal-based wildlife activist Ajay Dubey.

Senior forest department officials are also in talks with authorities in Indore to get a white tiger for Rewa.

Madhya Pradesh has approximately five white tigers, in captivity.

Six tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh-- Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Bori-Satpura, Sanjay Dubri and Pench-- have about 257 big cats. The tiger population in the country was estimated to be 1,706 according to data collected in 2010.