Sheela, the Royal Bengal Tigress at the Bengal Safari: North Bengal Animal Park in Siliguri, has given birth to three healthy cubs. According to the Director of Bengal Safari, Dharam Deo Rai, Sheela had conceived between 1 and 3 May this year and that her mate was Vivian.
“She gave birth to three cubs this morning. Prior to the birth, she was eating meat and other items, which were being provided to her. But, once a tigress gives birth, the mother does not eat anything for the next couple of days. Nevertheless, we are regularly providing her with meat, which she eats according to her will,” Mr Rai said.
“We have a permanent veterinarian here at the park who had been keeping her under observation. As for now, all of them are in good condition of health,” he added. Six-year-old Sheela had given birth to triplets in April 2018 in the park, which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee named Ika, Rika and Kika. ]
While Ika died of some infection in September that same year, Rika and Kika, a white tigress, are growing well. Snehasis, Sheela’s partner then, was sent to the Alipore Zoological Park in Kolkata on 13 March last year.
Another Royal Bengal Tiger, Vivian, had been brought from the Tata Steel Zoological Park in Jamshedpur in December 2017.
“The names of the newborns will be decided upon later as their genders are also not yet revealed. We are expecting the bears to conceive soon, perhaps, in the next couple of months,” the director said. State tourism minister Gautam Deb said it was good news for the Park, which is spread across 297 hectares of land near Salugara on the outskirts of Siliguri. “It is good news indeed. I have apprised chief minister Mamata Banerjee of the development, as the park was her brainchild. She is very happy,” Mr Deb said.
Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee also expressed his happiness. “The trio is in a healthy condition. I am hopeful that they will be the new attraction in the park,” he said.