It was a differrent kind of Birth Day celebration. There were baloons, cake and children sang ” Happy Birth Day ” .
But those whose bith day were celebrated were not human beings, they were three white tigers and the birth day celebrated with pump and grandure in the Nandan Kanan Zoologica Park.
White Tigers are the icon of Nandankanan zoological park located at a distance of about 20 kms from Bhubaneswar.
Rishi, Sitesh and Prachi are the most beloved amongst the visitors and the animal keepers turned three on Wednesday ( 1 st August, 2007).
They celebrated their birthday in their respective enclosures. At present Rishi, Sitesh are housed in the newly built enclosure no 20 of Nandankanan Zoo that was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Orissa Naveen Pattnaik on 11.04.2006.
They are born to Rohit and Sailaja who are normal coloured tigers. Out of the three, Rishi & Sitesh are male and Prachi is female. Rishi, Sitesh and Prachi are second litter of Rohit and Sailaja.
After their birth, three of them used to stay with their mom Sailaja for quite sometime. Subsequently, they were isolated from their mom and housed in enclosure 33A adjacent their mom’s enclosure for a better interaction between the mom and the kids.
On 10.04.2006, Rishi and Sitesh were shifted from enclosure 33A to enclosure 20 and their sister Prachi was left behind in enclosure 33A. On 11.04.2006, all three cubs refused their food.
As if they were on hunger strike in protest against their separation. Finding no other way the animal keepers conceded to their demand and brought Prachi to enclosure No.20 on 24.04.2006 to live with Sitesh and Rishi. What a great reunion! It was a memorable day for all three.
All three lived happily and enjoyed their company. At last Prachi was separated from Rishi and Sitesh on 11.12.2006 to Enclosure No.33A to avoid inbreeding. The enclosure has been enriched with wet moat, a small pond, dining table, greenery and grass carpeting.
The two brothers Sitesh , Rishi and sister Prachi turned 3 on 1st August, 2007.
A display a board at the entrance announcing the celebration of the birthday three tigers welcomed visitors to Nandankanan . To mark the day, memorable for them their enclosure was made more exciting for them than usual.
As a part of the celebration, they were presented with specially designed Zoo furniture. Rishi, Sitesh and Prachi, were encouraged to play with these enrichment furniture to keep their senses honed, give them a change in routine, and provided them with fun activities.
Enrichment is an important management practice for the captive animals in a zoo. The proposed enclosure enrichment programme of NZP was given a kick start from 1 st August 2007.
As a token of love the animal keepers planned a special treat for Rishi, Sitesh and Prachi on their birthday and offerred them a full goat , instead of goat meat as usual.
Display boards carrying the detail information on the tiger, their present status, conservation need and more so about Rishi, Sitesh and Prachi were posted near enclosures 20 and 33 for the information of the visitors in Oriya and English.
As because no birthday celebration is complete without a cake, special cakes was cut and witnessed by the visitors and the school children with birthday cheers.