Three tiger cubs die of starvation in Odisha zoo

The cause of their death on Friday was mentioned in the interim post-mortem report submitted by the zoo authority, special secretary of Forest Department B P Singh said.

Eleven-year-old Priyanka, which gave birth to five cubs including a white one on Wednesday, reportedly rejected them, the report said.

"There was no food in the stomach of three cubs while intestinal pipes of two others had ruptured," the post-mortem report said.

The Forest and Environment Department, however, asked the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife) to undertake a detailed probe into the incident and report on whether captive breeding had taken place according to the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority.

Deputy director of Nandankanan Zoo S N Mohapatra said cubs die mostly due to less secretion of milk from a first-time mother.

It was almost after 11 years that a normal Royal Bengal Tiger couple had given birth to a white cub at Nandankanan, he said.

While Priyanka was born to a white tiger, her mate Rohan had a white tigress as his mother. "Therefore, the couple was chosen for captive breeding here," he said.
The tiger population in Nandankanan Zoo was 24, including 10 white ones, sources said.

The rate of survival of the cubs born in captivity to new tiger mothers had been less than 10 per cent.

The Central Zoo Authority had stopped captive breeding since 2000 after 12 tigers had died at Nandankanan Zoo.

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