Nandankanan Biological Park authorities today claimed that the zoo here is first in the country to have a melanistic (black) tiger cub born in the captivity even as such big cats are seen in Similipal Tiger Reserve.
"It is for the first time that a black tiger cub was born in any zoo in the country," S S Srivastav, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest said, adding though black tigers were seen in the wild, so far no birth of a melanistic tiger in captivity has been witnessed.
The Nandankanan Zoo here celebrated the Global Tiger Day today with joy as the five-year-old white tigress Sneha gave birth to four cubs on Sunday night. The zoo authorities today released CCTV pictures of the new born cubs.
Of the four cubs born to Sneha and her male partner Manish, one each was black, white and one with normal Royal Bengal Tiger colour. One of them was less blackish, said zoo director Sudarshan Panda.
"We are monitoring the cubs and their mother through CCTV cameras. We are optimistic that all the four cubs will survive as Sneha has been extra careful to her cubs," Panda told reporters.
In November 2011, five tiger cubs were born in the zoo here. However, they died barely two days after their birth.
The zoo authorities attributed the reason to carelessness of the first time mother.
There are 23 tigers in Nandankanan of whom eight are white and 15 normal RBTs.