Nandankanan zoo closes white tiger safari to visitors

Bhubaneswar, May 1 (IANS) Odisha’s Nandankanan Zoo has closed its white tiger safari to tourists for an indefinite period after a wild tiger walked into it, in probable search of a mate, an official said Wednesday.

The seven-year-old Royal Bengal tiger, who had been roaming in the nearby area creating panic among people, walked from the wild into the white tiger safari of the zoo near Bhubaneswar Monday night.

“We have shut the white tiger safari to tourists for safety reasons. Spread over 12 hectares, the safari is home to about 24 tigers; eight of them are white,” zoo assistant director Kamal Lochan Purohit told IANS.

An environment that is conducive has been created for the new tiger so that it roams freely within the safari area. Besides, the tigers of the zoo have been kept at a safe distance from the new big cat, he said.

Nandankanan Biological Park, literally meaning ‘The Garden of Heaven’, is spread over 425 hectares. It has over 1,200 animals and offers a first-of-its-kind white tiger safari.

The other area of the zoo, however, continues to remain open to tourists as usual, he said.

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