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Odisha To Establish The World's First Melanistic Tiger Safari

Utkarsh Classes 30-01-2024
Odisha To Establish The World's First Melanistic Tiger Safari State news 4 min read

The Government of Odisha has recently announced the establishment of the world's first melanistic tiger safari and it is likely to be ready for visitors by October this year.

  • There are preparations to develop Safari near Baripada, the district headquarters of Mayurbhanj.
  • A 200- hectare site adjacent to National Highway 18 has been identified for this initiative.
  • It is located near Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Mayurbhanj.
  • This safari will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world and will give tourists a chance to see "the rare and majestic "melanistic tiger species found only in Odisha."
  • The safari will house surplus tigers from Nandankanan Zoo and rescued or orphaned tigers that are unfit for the wild but are suitable for display. Open enclosures will provide habitat for these tigers.
  • The safari is intended to offer a close encounter with the rare beauty of melanistic tigers, thereby promoting awareness of their conservation needs.

About Black Tigers or Melanistic Tigers:

  • Black tigers (also known as melanistic Royal Bengal tigers) are a rare colour morph of the Bengal tiger. These are not distinct species or geographical subspecies.
  • Melanism is a genetic condition in which there is increased production of melanin, a substance in the skin that produces hair, eyes and skin color, resulting in an animal's skin, feathers or hair becoming black (or nearly black).
  • They have been recorded only in Similipal Tiger Reserve of Odisha.
  • In the 2022 All India Tiger Estimate, 10 melanistic tigers were reported in the Similipal Tiger Reserve out of a total of 16 tigers.

Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR):

  • Similipal is a tiger reserve covering 2,750 km (1,060 sq mi) in the Mayurbhanj district of the Indian state of Odisha (adjacent to Jharkhand and West Bengal).
  • It is part of the Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve, which consists of three protected areas : Similipal Tiger Reserve, Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Simlipal National Park takes its name from the abundance of red silk cotton trees growing in the area.
  • The park is home to the Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, gaur and Chowsingha, and the protected area has been part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009.
  • The STR is Asia's second-largest biosphere reserve (after the Gulf of Kutch, Gujarat) and the country's only wild habitat for melanistic Royal Bengal tigers.

FAQ

Answer. Odisha

Answer. Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR)

Answer. Only in the Similipal Tiger Reserve of Odisha

Answer. Mayurbhanj
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