Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday inaugurated the world’s maiden ‘White Tiger Safari’ at Mukundpur in Satna district in the state’s Vindhya region where the feline was first discovered more than 100 years ago.
The first of its kind safari has cost Rs 50 crore and is spread over an area of 25 hectares.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Chief Minister Chouhan and MP’s Public Relations and Energy Minister Rajendra Shukla, among others, dedicated it to the public.
The CM inaugurated the safari amid cheers and applause from more than one lakh people.
“The sanctioned amount for establishing the safari was Rs 50 crore and so far estimates suggest that the amount has been utilised. It remains to be seen if there is a need to revise the amount in future,” Shukla said.
With its inauguration, the safari, housing three white tigers, including one male named Raghu and two females, Vindhya and Radha, is now officially open for public.
“As of now, there are three white tigers and two Royal Bengal tigers. The safari will house nine white tigers in the coming months for which talks are being held,” Shukla told PTI.
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To establish the Safari, one of the white tigers Vindhya and two bears were brought from Bhopal last year to house them at the Mukundpur Zoological Park. Thereafter, two more white tigers, Radha and Raghu, from Maitri Bagh Zoo at Bhilai in Chhattisgarh were brought here, Shukla said.
Apart from the white tigers, two Bengal tigers were also brought here at the safari from Aurangabad zoo in Maharashtra this year.
The ‘White Tiger Safari’ is situated adjacent to the sprawling Mukundpur Zoo which is spread over 75 hectares.
The government is planning to establish a breeding centre for the white tigers in nearby Govindgarh.
The first white tiger was spotted in Madhya Pradesh’s Vindhya region, in which the Satna district falls, in 1915. The rare breed of the big cat, which was caught for the first time, died in 1920.
In 1951, a white tiger cub, named Mohan, was captured. It later became the progenitor of all known white tigers in the world after the Rewa princely state’s ruler Maharaja Martand Singh for arranged its breeding.