For the two white tigers, Siddharth and Bajirao, at Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, loneliness will soon be a thing of the past as the national park authorities are all set to get Rabica, a young feline for the two big cats for mating. The white tigress Rabica will be brought here from the Aurangabad zoo.
The national park authorities in Mumbai have already received the green signal from the central zoo authority in Delhi for which the national park had applied early this year.
The national park needed a white tigress as a mate for the two male tigers.
There were a total of five white tigers at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai but at present there only two male tigers. Siddharth and his mate Renuka, who died recently due to malignant melanoma (a skin cancer) were brought from the Aurangabad zoo around 10 years ago. The Siddharth- Renuka pair gave birth to three cubs Bajirao, Arya and Rajiya. In June 2009 Arya and Rajiya were exchanged for a lion and lioness from Bannergatta zoo.
The white tiger is usually about three-meter long and weighs 180-285 kg. Its coat is slightly flatter than that of the Siberian tiger, the tawny colour is richer and stripes are darker. They have blue eyes, a pink nose. White tigers are born to tigers that carry the unusual gene needed for white colouring.
White tigers are susceptible to diseases, especially skin infections due to low immunity level compared to the Royal Bengal tigers. So, the authorities have to keep a close watch on the health of these white tigers.