Udaipur : Tigers are rare and white tigers are even rarer. So it was quite natural for animal lovers as well as residents to see one of the species roaming and roaring around in an enclosure at the Sajjangarh Biological Park here. Rama- the five-year old white tiger brought from Chennai’s Arignar Anna Zoological Park on September 30, was put to public display on Friday morning. He has been brought here as part of an exchange programme wherein two wolves were sent to Chennai from Jodhpur and Jaipur.
“The white cat which was kept in a quarantine period of three weeks has successfully completed the acclimatization process and therefore will be available for the public viewing now on” T. Mohanraj, the DFO and incharge of the park said. Rama is now being given local water unlike initial days when he was given water brought in a full canter all the way from Chennai. “ He is eating normally and the diet is as per the zoo norms. He is getting used to the local water too” the officer said. Rama has been kept in the display area where Tigress Damini lived. However, looking at the excitement and public response, the park authorities have decided to keep Damini to the non-display portion of the park for some days. Since Rama’s enclosure is adjacent to T-24’s enclosure, to avoid discomfort and a possible collision between the two cats, an iron sheet has been put up in between.
Local staff giving Tamil commands
Language had been the main hurdle during the acclimatization process since Rama do not understand instructions except that given in Tamil. To help the local caretakers to deal with the white cat, his caretaker Chellaiah had accompanied him all the way from Chennai and stayed here for a week. “ It is not possible for a 5 year old tiger that has been used to only Tamil commands to abide by instructions in any other language. Apart from that some people speak Mewari and others Hindi here which may be confusing for the animal” Mohanraj said. So as a solution, Chellaiah tipped the local staff of basic commands in Tamil so that the tiger knows what he is being asked to do. “ Rama Va (come), Rama Sappad (eat), Po (go) are such phrases that local caretaker Ram Singh and his assistants have picked from Chellaiah” the officer said. Gradually, the white tiger is expected to get conditioned to the local terms too.