To increase the population of white tigers in the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Garden here, a white tigress Geetha was brought from National Zoological Park in Delhi in exchange of a tiger Vijay, on Tuesday.
Under the Wildlife Exchange Program, a team of officials went to Delhi to exchange the tigress with the tiger in the National Zoological Park.
"This is a rule of the central authority and under the Wildlife Exchange Program, the animals are exchanged. To stop inter-breeding of the offsprings born in one zoo, we exchange the cubs so that cross-breeding can take place. To stop the inter-breeding between the tiger Vijay and his mother Vishakha, we have taken this step. Inter-breeding can harm the genes and also shortens the life span so we have done this. This is a very good step and so everybody is happy," said Dr Rajendra Singh, Director of Lucknow Zoo.
At present Vijay is under mandatory veterinary care and will be sent out in the field only after 25 days. Similarly, the health of the tigress will be monitored for around 20 days, after which she will be put around other tigers.
R A Khan, curator, Education, National Zoological Park in Delhi told ANI, "We exchanged a female white tiger name Geeta and in return received Vijay a male white tiger. This exchange becomes absolute necessary for breeding and survival. The Central zoo authority approves the exchange programme."
Visitors at both the zoos are happy with the initiative.
"I am very happy to see the tigress and urge more people to come and see the tigress. This is a great initiative as now the population will grow further," said a visitor, Aditya Mishra.
"I have been visiting this zoo from the past three years and I am very happy that now there is a tigress. I am eager to see the offsprings and hope that more people will come," said another visitor, Shivam Shukla in Lucknow.
In addition Delhi Zoo might get animals from zoos in other states too. "Talks are going on regarding the exchange programme with zoos from different states. Some animals from Gwalior zoo are also about to come. There are demands for giraffe," R A Khan said.
The last exchange programme took place on 24 -25 March in which one baboon, one wolf and one silver and golden Pheasans were exchanged with the Mysuru Zoo. In return Delhi Zoo received an Indian wolf, Baboon and Fowl.
Khan said the process of exchange of white tigers was an initiative of the Delhi Zoo.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)