New Delhi, Apr 20 (EFE).- The Delhi zoo on Thursday presented two white tiger cubs, a rare variant of the endangered species, for public viewing eight months after their birth, the first cubs of this type born in the zoo in seven years.
“Flagged off the release of 8-month-old Avni and Vyom into their enclosure in the presence of schoolchildren and zoo staff. Visitors to the zoo will now be able to see and say hello to Avni and Vyom,” Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav tweeted after naming the cubs at the zoo.
Vyom – a word that means universe in Hindi – and Avni (Earth), a male and female cub respectively, on Thursday left the facility where they had been living with their mother since their birth and entered the tiger exhibition enclosure of the zoo for the first time.
The two cubs were soon darting around in their new surroundings and playing in a small water body in the enclosure.
The two young tigers were born in the zoo on Aug. 24, seven years after the last birth of this type of tigers in the capital’s zoo.
White tigers’ gestation period lasts for around 110 days and the newborn cubs feed only on their mothers’ milk for the first two months.
These tigers are born white due to a genetic mutation in the Bengal tiger – extremely rare in nature – although a few hundred such specimens exist in captivity in zoos around the world.
India is home to over 3,000 tigers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced earlier this month on the 50th anniversary of the country starting the “tiger project” to save its national animal.
The South Asian nation has also launched other ambitious wildlife conservation programs, such as the Project Cheetah, which began last year with the release of African cheetahs in Indian forests as part of reintroducing the species which went extinct in the region over seven decades ago. EFE