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So, A Tiger Walks Into A Zoo ...

This is no joke:

A wild male tiger, which seems to be in search of some female companionship, has been lured into eastern India's Nandankanan Zoological Park after several frightening nights for those in nearby villages.

According to the Deccan Herald:

"The male tiger aged between seven and eight had been moving around Nandankanan and nearby areas for the last few days triggering panic among the local villagers, particularly during the night. On Monday night, zoo authorities had intentionally kept the emergency door of the tiger safari opened."

The hope was that the big cat would be attracted by one of the female tigers inside the zoo. Monday night, he came in through that emergency gate, which zoo keepers then closed. Now, the BBC writes, "officials say the tiger is roaming around the enclosure of Sara, a tigress, indicating its urge to mate. ... Its movement [is] being closely monitored with high-resolution cameras. ... Wildlife officials are now debating whether to let the new tiger remain in the zoo or release it back into the wild after putting a radio collar on it."

Wildlife activist Subhendu Mallick doesn't want the tiger to be released. "If the male tiger is retained in the zoo, it would widen the gene pool and infuse new blood into the tiger conservation and breeding programme at the park," he tells the BBC.

Early in 2012, the zoo reports, it was home to 24 tigers. Fifteen were female.

Two-Way readers may recall a post from earlier this year about a mass animal escape. About 15,000 crocodiles in South Africa fled from a ranch that was flooded. The efforts to capture as many of them as possible went on for weeks.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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