White tiger safari in Nandankanan zoo to lose identity

Bhubaneswar: The world’s greatest white tiger safari at Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP) may soon lose its uniqueness as the Odisha government has decided to turn it into a common tiger safari.

The state government has urged the zoo authorities to convert the white tiger safari into a natural enclosure for all categories of big cats.

“The forest and environment department have directed us to convert the white tiger safari into a general tiger safari. Visitors will have the opportunity to watch all varieties of tigers including white ones. We will soon install a signage at the natural enclosure,” said a zoo official.

Nandankanan zoo had attracted worldwide attention when tigress Ganga delivered three white cubs in 1980 and two more in 1981. White tiger population had gone up in the zoo through captive breeding.

The white tiger safari was set up on a 12-ha land in 1991. The state government had spent Rs 40 lakh for the tiger safari.

The safari showcased eight white tigers initially. However, the safari has now only two white tigers. “With the removal of ‘exclusive class’ tag for safari, visitors will now watch at least 26 big cats in their natural enclosure over a period of time,” said the official.

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