White tigress dies in Bhopal zoo

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Bhopal, July 1 : Wildlife authorities in Bhopal conducted funeral for a 17-year-old white tigress, which died of paralytic stroke.

The tigress was brought to the Van Vihar National Park from the Delhi zoo three years ago.

"She was brought from a Delhi zoo in 2005. She was suffering for sometime," said Ravindra Saxena, Divisional Forest Officer.

Van Vihar is the pride of Bhopal and is home to a number of animals, including white tiger, panther, lion and tigers.

India is home to half the world's surviving tigers, but conservationists say it is losing the battle to save them. There were about 40,000 tigers in India a century ago.

A count conducted in 2001 and 2002 suggested the number had fallen to around 3,700, after decades of poaching and habitat destruction.

Trade in tiger parts and products are illegal, but poachers still operate with impunity because a single animal can fetch up to 50,000 dollars in the international market.

Besides the highly priced tiger skins, organs, teeth, bones and penises of the big cats fetch high prices in the black market, where they are used in Chinese medicine.

ANI

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