Earn­ing their stripes

Do­na­tion pro­vides haven for Ben­gal tiger cubs

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Shoshana Ke­dem @B_ shosh shoshana@7days.ae

Four Ben­gal tiger cubs are to be fi­nan­cially sup­ported by a UAE busi­ness­man who is de­ter­mined to see them kept free from the clutches of hunters.

Real es­tate direc­tor Michael D’Souza has do­nated 5 lakh (Dhs28,000) to the pro­gramme at Pi­likula Bi­o­log­i­cal Park in Man­ga­lore, In­dia, which will care for the en­dan­gered cats.

The Dubai-based In­dian na­tional said the crea­tures are ruth­lessly hunted for their claws, teeth and fur.

“The tiger is our [In­dia’s] na­tional an­i­mal and it is im­por­tant that we pro­tect them,” said D’Souza, who splits his time be­tween Man­ga­lore and Dubai.

He gave the tigers names, in­clud­ing one af­ter his own daugh­ter, Nisha.

“Se­condly I gave them the names Amer, Ak­bar and An­thony, be­long­ing to three re­li­gions in In­dia: Hindu, Mus­lim and Chris­tian,” he added, which he said sym­bol- ises the way an­i­mals live to­gether peace­fully.

The tigers roam freely in a 60hectare wildlife en­clo­sure ded­i­cated to pre­serv­ing the na­tive species of In­dia’s West­ern Ghat Forests.

He added: “It’s a priv­i­lege to be from the orig­i­nal forests of In­dia. There are a lot of ef­forts to give a good, nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment in the zoo for the pub­lic, tourism and an­i­mals.We adopt them and pro­vide funds to take care of those tigers.

“They are not in­side the cage, there is a large area and they’re well taken care of and it’s a nat­u­ral habi­tat for them.

“For the last five years their num­bers have de­creased dras­ti­cally as there’s a lot of an­i­mal poach­ers there [in In­dia] who want their claws, teeth and skins.”

Park direc­tor Jayaprakash Bhandary told 7DAYS the fund­ing helps to feed and care for the cubs. They eat 8kg of meat per day when fully grown, he ex­plained.

“Each adult eats around ru­pees 1,200 [Dhs85] of tiger feed per day, not in­clud­ing health­care and main­te­nance costs,” said Bhandary.

HEALTHY FU­TURE: For tiger cubs Nisha, Amer, Ak­bar and An­thony

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.