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Lone white tigress at SGNP operated upon to remove tumour

Due to their light skin, white tigers are susceptible to cancer.

Written by Anjali Lukose | Mumbai | Published: March 16, 2015 1:08:24 am
Tigress Rebecca in her enclosure at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. (Source: Express Photo) Tigress Rebecca in her enclosure at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. (Source: Express Photo)

A white tigress at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) has undergone an operation to remove a large tumour, suspected to be cancerous, near her left eye. Samples of the tumour have been sent to three hospitals in the city for detection and the results are awaited.

Rebecca, who is over 18 years old, is the only white tigress at the national park, who until a few months ago was part of the tiger safari at SGNP along with white tiger Siddharth and the other regular tigers.

“We noticed a tumour between her left eye and nose and it began to grow. In just 15 days, it became the size of a table tennis ball and we had it operated at the park itself. White tigers, because of their light skin, are sensitive and susceptible to cancers. We are waiting for the report to know if we have to provide her with chemotherapy,” said Shailesh Deore, superintendent of the lion and tiger safari. Few years ago, another white tigress at SGNP had succumbed to cancer, he added.

Currently, only regular tigers are seen during the tiger safari at the national park and no lions as their enclosures are undergoing repairs.

Meanwhile, SGNP authorities have arrested and booked a man, suspected to have killed the monkeys whose bodies were found around Tulsi lake near Mulund inside the national park in February. At least 10 monkeys were found were found dead near the lake, along with some rice and a pair of burnt hand gloves nearby.

The forensic report has revealed that the monkeys were poisoned with phenyl, which was reportedly mixed with the rice and fed to the monkeys.

“When we arrested the accused, a drug addict, he had confessed to poisoning the monkey. The addict seemed slightly unstable and confessed that he had then plotted to kill the monkeys because he was earlier attacked by one,” said Vikas Gupta, SGNP director.

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