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Delhi Zoo sees birth of 3 white tigers after 7 long years

A white tigress named Sita gave birth to three cubs in Delhi Zoo

It was celebration time at the National Zoological Park in the Capital as after a long gap of seven years, white tiger cubs were born there.

The mother of the cubs is Sita, a white tigress while the father Vijay too is white. Both are seven years old.

With this new addition the number of tigers at Delhi Zoo has gone up to 11.

The mother and cubs reported to be healthy are being housed in a separate enclosure. Talking to the media, Dharamdeo Rai, Director of Delhi Zoo said: “The cubs are reared by the mother. If we touch them, we are worried that the mother may reject them. We never interfere till at least one month. We simply provide food and water required for the mother, who is continuously nursing them, so things are looking good now. The mother and cubs are in a separate enclosure, with enough space to move.”

The zoo officials and staff are monitoring them constantly round-the-clock.

Speaking about the long gap of seven years, Rai observed: “There need to be suitable pairs and the male and female need to accept each other. It’s also a bit of luck… sometimes tigers may conceive, but may give birth to cubs that are stillborn.”

Interestingly Delhi Zoo is a participant in the conservation breeding of tigers. Sharing details about this, Rai told Indian Express: “The selected zoos that participate in the conservation breeding programme exchange animals amongst themselves for breeding purposes. The animal exchange ensures that there is no in-breeding. The breeding programme is also underway at the Delhi Zoo for other species including rhinos.”

It is due to recessive genes that white tigers come into being. While their fur is white or cream-coloured they have grey or black stripes.