Nandankanan Zoo In Odisha Plans Unique Tiger Rewilding Project; Check Details

Bhubaneswar: Nandankanan Zoo on the outskirts of Odisha’s capital is planning a unique tiger rewilding project — tiger cubs born in the zoo will be eventually released in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.

“Cubs born in the zoo to tigers with the wild gene will be trained on prey feeding and prey catching behaviour and eventually released in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. We hope to start the programme soon,” Manoj V Nair, Director, Nandankanan Biological Park, told reporters on Friday on the occasion of International Tiger Day.

The zoo also plans to start a research project involving a scientist from the Bengaluru-based National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS).

“Under the project, we will carry out genetic analysis of all the tigers in Nandankanan to find out the proportion of melanistic genes, normal tiger genes and healthy population. After the study we plan to go for a breeding plan to increase the number of tigers in Nandankanan. Then we will go for re-wilding of tigers,” he said.

Nair said that Nandankanan now is home to 26 tigers — three male melanistic or black tigers, seven white tigers, including a cub, and 16 normal coloured tigers.

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