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Lovelorn tiger sneaks into zoo

S T Beuria, BHUBANESWAR, April 30, 2013, DHNS: 2:11 IST
A tiger from the wild, believed to be in search of a female partner, entered into the Nandankanan zoo and zoological park here late on Monday night forcing the authorities to close the white tiger safari located inside the zoo complex for an indefinite period from Tuesday.

“The white tiger safari will remain closed for safety reasons for the next few days. Hope all will cooperate with us. However, the rest of the zoo and zoological park will remain open for visitors and tourists,” said a zoo official.

The male tiger aged between seven and eight had been moving around Nandankanan and nearby areas for the last few days triggering panic among the local villagers particularly during the night. On Monday night, zoo authorities had intentionally kept the emergency door of the tiger safari opened.

“The tiger perhaps was looking for an opportunity to enter the tiger safari. Just after midnight on Monday, it sneaked into the safari through the emergency door. The door was shut down thereafter. We watched the movement of the animal through a CCTV camera installed specially for this operation,” said a zoo official.

Nandankanan zoo authorities as well as officials of the wildlife wing of the state forest department are now holding consultations with experts from both inside and outside the state whether to keep the tiger permanently in the zoo or release it in the wild.

The tiger is believed to have arrived in Nandankanan either from Satkosia forests in Dhenkanal district or from Khuntuni reserved forests near Athagarh in Cuttack district through the Chanka forests which borders the popular zoo and zoological park.Interestingly, this is not for the first time a tiger from the wild has entered the Nandankanan zoo in search of love.

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