Mysore zoo to retain captured tiger

Animal may not survive if let back into the wild

Mysore zoo to retain captured tiger

Now that he has lost the “man-eater” tag, Shiva, the tiger captured at Chikkabargi near Bandipur Tiger Reserve in HD Kote taluk in December last year, will soon be an attraction at the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysore.

After the reports from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, stated that it had not come across any human DNA during scat analysis, the zoo authorities wrote to the principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) on retaining the captured tiger at the zoo. 

When brought to the zoo, Shiva had several injuries. B P Ravi, the Executive Director at the zoo, said the wounds of tiger had now completely healed. “His eyes are very clear. His appetite is also good,” he added.


Ravi said it would not be possible to release Shiva into the wild as he is 12-years-old, and is not in a condition to hunt. “Even if he is released into the wild, he may not survive for more than a year. One of his claws is badly wounded,” he said.

The forest officials had initially refused to allow the zoo to keep the tiger citing lack of space and it was decided to shift the animal to the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bangalore.

As a practice, rescued or captured big cats are retained in the zoos for reasons such as old age, their incapability to survive in the wild because of injuries and human imprints.Ravi said that PCCF (Wildlife) Vinay Luthra had given an oral consent to the letter, and the big cat would be on display for public view in a couple of months. 

Now, the zoo has 15 captive tigers among which 15-year-old tigress Cauvery is the oldest. 

New gene pool

Ravi said Shiva would be used to introduce a new gene pool in the zoo. Captive breeding of tigers was stepped up in the zoo after the arrival of wild tigers, particularly Brahma, a strong and big male.

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