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Delhi Zoo’s Royal Bengal tigress gives birth to cubs after 18 years

National Zoological Park's Siddhi tigress gave birth to cubs after several years (Pic. Courtesy PIB)

Officials of the National Zoological Park in New Delhi and wildlife enthusiasts were thrilled as after a gap of 18 long years, the golden Royal Bengal tigress Siddhi gave birth to cubs.

Of the five delivered by Siddhi on May 4 three have died and two are still alive. As per Akansha Mahajan, the Director of Delhi Zoo, Siddhi last gave birth on January 16, 2005.

Sharing details with the media, Mahajan said that while Siddhi was born in the wild and brought from Nagpur’s Gorewada Zoo, the father of the cubs, Karan was from Mysore Zoo and born in a zoo. The father is 10 years old and the mother is six.

Siddhi is attending to the two cubs and the zoo authorities are constantly monitoring their condition.

At present NZP has four adult Royal Bengal Tigers and their names are Karan, Siddhi, Aditi and Barkha. Aditi like Siddhi is of wild origin and was acquired from Gorewada.

Last year in August, three white tiger cubs were born at NZP after a gap of seven years. In December one of them died and the other two – Avani and Vyom – were released into an enclosure for public viewing last month.

Besides the six golden Royal Bengal tigers including the cubs, the Delhi Zoo houses five white tigers, taking the total number of tigers at NZP to 11.

NZP has been housing tigers since the inauguration on November 1, 1959. From then on Delhi Zoo is maintaining its population for conservation, education and display. Tigers have bred well in Delhi Zoo and also given in exchange to many zoos of the country and abroad.

The Zoo is part of the planned conservation breeding programme being run by Central Zoo Authority since 2010.