Bhopal: The pair of white tigers – a male, Bhagat, aged 10, and a 9-year-old female Lalita, that had been translocated to Van Vihar under animal exchange programme of the Central Zoo Authority – has been released, a little later than three weeks mandatory time.
The animals brought on April 22, before Forest Minister Rajendra Shukla released them, were kept away from other animals and visitors for three weeks as per rule and were not released even after the three weeks time elapsed due to severe heat with mercury hovering around 44 degree Celsius. Both animals were found normal during various tests.
On the occasion, Shukla informed that Indore Nature Volunteers member and senior journalist Abhilash Khandekar has adopted white tigeress for Rs 1.25 lakh for one year. Likewise, People’s Group has adopted a female leaopard “Mohini’ for Rs 50,000 for one year
SS Rajput, Van Vihar Director, said that the Van Vihar had been bereft of white tigers after a white tigress ‘Rini’ died due to cancer on September 6, 2008. ‘Rini’ had died at the age of 18 — four more than average tiger age.
All white tigers in zoos around the world can trace their ancestry to the thick jungles around Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh. A white tiger was found in 1951 by the then Maharaj Martand Singhji of Rewa in the jungles of Govindgarh adjoining to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in the erstwhile Central Indian Kingdom of Maharajas of Rewa.