Five new big cats arrive at Patna zoo

PATNA: Five big cats – one pair each of Asiatic lions and white tigers and a lone male Royal Bengal tiger – joined the family of Patna zoo on Thursday night. These animals have been brought here under an exchange programme with Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad. Patna zoo has given one pair of horned rhinos to Nehru zoo for these big cats.

The five new animals include a four-year-old lion, Vishal, lioness Saraswati (3), white tiger Shankar, white tigress Swarna, and Royal Bengal tiger Bhima (all aged 5).

Arrival of these new animals has also solved the breeding problem related to these big cats at Patna zoo. “We already have two hybrid lionesses in the zoo, but as per Central Zoo Authority norms breeding of hybrid lions is prohibited in zoos. And the lone tigress (17) is too old to breed,” said Abhay Kumar, director, Patna zoo.

“The new additions give us the opportunity to breed both white as well as royal Bengal tigers,” he said. Patna zoo is having a pair of pure Asiatic lions for the first time.

These animals have travelled more than 2000km in four days by road. They were kept in quarantine during the travel period. They will be given rest for at least seven days before being released for display for the public.


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