A forest like environs for tigers at zoo
Day kraal designed on the lines of natural settings promises roaming space for big cats .
The new tiger day kraal at the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, was inaugurated by Chairman of Zoo Authority of Karnataka, M Nanjundaswamy, in Mysore on Friday.
As visitors flocked to the new kraal, flashes erupted from mobile phone cameras as onlookers scrambled to capture the sight of Tiger Brahma, roaring to his heart’s content and stretching lazily and a white tigress called Manya, which leisurely strolled along the tall fence which separated human from animal.
Rs 20 lakh
The new enclosure, built at a cost of Rs 20 lakh, comprises four enclosures covered by 20-foot tall iron grills. Large trees have been retained to provide the big cats with much-needed shade. Water tanks have also been constructed to give tigers an opportunity to take a swim in cold water, to beat the summer’s heat.
At the heart of the new kraal is a century-old building which was constructed during the reign of the Maharajas of Mysore. Since then,the building has been identified as a heritage structure.
Following a suggestion made by the Central Zoo Authority, the new enclosure was been built to give the zoo’s tigers more opportunity to enjoy the outside air like natural setting near to the wild. Currently, nine tigers have been bred in captivity at the zoo.
Under the previous system, two tigers were let out every day on rotational basis, while the remaining seven were held in their respective concrete pens, out of the sight of the sun. The system gave each tiger a chance to enjoy natural surroundings only once in six days.
B P Ravi, the Executive Director of the Zoo said that the new day kraal will allow four tigers to be let out out every day.
“Enjoying the sunlight, relaxing under the tree and having a cold swim in the tank could have a positive impact on their health and increase their longevity,” he said.
A small connecting door between the enclosures enables the tigers to walk into any kraal of their choice.
Members of the public, however, are not allowed to view the tigers in the kraal due to security measures. They can watch the tigers in paddocks as usual.
In addition to Brahma and Manya, two other tigers, Ram and Lakshman, were seen walking the length and breadth of their new enclosure, attracting several onlookers.
Member secretary of ZAK R S Suresh was present.