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Over 20 tigers die in Indian zoos every year

According to Association of Indian Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians over 20 tigers die every year in captivity in zoos across India.

In 2015-16, there were 245 tigers and 99 white tigers in captivity in the country.

In the same year, 16 white tigers and 28 ordinary tigers died in zoos, according to AIZWV.

Ordinary tigers are housed in 60 zoos, including large, medium and small-sized zoos, while white Bengal tigers are present in 27 zoos spread across the country.

AIZWV stated that the number of ordinary tigers has been continuously decreasing for the past four years.

From 295 in 2011-12, it came down to 245 in 2015-16.

However in 2015-16 it shows the high death rate of Bengal White tiger .

“We are trying to analyse the reasons that led to the death of tigers as we still need cooperation from various organisations. However, it seems that many new diseases, including canine distemper virus (CDV), might be responsible for mortality of tigers,” said president of AIZWV, B M Arora.

Talking about the lifespan of tigers, Arora who is former principal scientist and wildlife in-charge said

“23 years is the maximum lifespan of tigers but if an animal survives the first year of its life (about 45% of the cubs die in their first year) it has a good chance of reaching 19 years of age when the second peak in mortality is observed. I have looked into survival records of 8 white tigers and 10 white tigresses, which lived for longer than three years, belonging to National Zoological Park in New Delhi and found average survival age of 12.46 years and 12.42 years of white tigers and tigresses respectively.”

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