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White tiger from Patna set to greet Kolkata Zoo visitors

White tiger from Patna set to greet Kolkata Zoo visitors
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Kolkata: The Alipore Zoological Garden is bringing in a white tiger from the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park popularly known as Patna Zoo to augment the tiger population in the city zoo. Apart from the white tiger, six blackbucks and a pair of sambar deer will also be brought from the Patna zoo. The animals are being procured as a part of exchange programme with the Alipore zoo sending a female zebra to Patna.

"The six-year-old white male tiger that we are bringing from Patna zoo is mainly for the purpose of breeding to increase the tiger population at the zoo. The white tiger has yellow gene so cross breeding can be done with the yellow tigers as well," said Asis Kumar Samanta, director of Alipore Zoo.

The Alipore Zoo presently has three white tigers — Bishal, Rupa and Rishi and three Royal Bengal tigers Payel, Tista and Raja. Tigers remain compatible for mating from the age of 5 to a maximum of 9 years. However, all male tigers at the zoo are over the age of 10 years. So the white male tiger is being brought from outside.

"We are trying to make arrangements to procure the tiger by next week while the sambar deer and blackbucks will be brought after the summer months. It will be easier for them to adjust to the weather in the city after summer," a senior official of Alipore Zoo said.

The zebra population at the city zoo is presently ten with seven females. Two of the three males are juveniles and there is the only one adult male in the mating game. Five of the seven adult females are fit for breeding but they have only one partner. The female zebra that will be sent is aged around six years. "We are in talks with a number of zoo to bring an adult male zebra," the official added.

The Alipore Zoo presently has three sambar deer and a single deer. The six blackbucks will make our deer population reasonably healthy. The Patna Zoo has a single male zebra Chottu. The plan is to mate him with the female being procured from Alipore Zoo to augment the zebra population.

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