Bhubaneswar: Nandankanan Zoo on the outskirts of the city has planned to pioneer captive tiger’s re-wilding process, informed Nandankanan Biological Park, Director, Manoj V Nair.
“We want to do an innovative thing–re-wilding of zoo born tigers-which means cubs born to tigers with the wild gene will be trained on normal behaviour like prey feeding behaviour, prey catching behaviour and eventually release them in the wild-in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. We are hopeful of starting this programme very soon,” revealed Nair talking to reporters today on the occasion of International Tiger Day.
He stated that they have planned to very soon start a research project by involving a scientist of the Bengaluru-based National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) who is working on tiger genetics.
“Under the project, we will go for genetic analysis of all the tigers in Nandankanan to find out the proportion of melanistic genes, normal tiger genes and healthy population. After doing that study we plan to go for a breeding plan to increase the number of tigers in Nandankanan. Then will go for re-wilding of tigers,” Nair clarified.
The Director said that ever since the death of nearly 20 tigers, Nandankanan is striving to maintain a balanced population of tigers.
“We are now having 26 tigers and the interesting thing is that there are three types of tigers–3 male melanistic tiger or black tiger actually pseudo melanistic tiger, 7 white tigers including a cub and 16 normal coloured tigers,” Nair further informed sharing details of the tiger population in Nandankanan.