A sad day dawned in the exotic Indore Zoo, India, just a few days after Christmas eve.
The three-year-old White Tiger called ‘Rajjan’ was found dead inside his cage, in the famous Zoo of the largest city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The endangered white tiger was bitten by a deadly Black Cobra, following a fearsome fight between the two predators.
‘Rajjan’, the rare white tiger, was brought to Indore Zoo from Bhilai (Chhattisgrah) just a month before the tragic incident. According to experts, there are only around 200 white tigers left on the planet. These beautiful creatures are an Asian species, originating from the frozen tundra of the Soviet Far East. There are five living subspecies, while three other subspecies are already extinct. Tigers are rightfully protected all over the world. Despite the fact it is illegal to hunt them, people are still slaying these unique animal. However, this time the white tiger was not slayed by a man, but by ferocious reptile, the highly venomous Black Cobra.
The three-year-old white tiger was found unconscious and bleeding from his nose, foam coming out of his mouth, while the Black Cobra snake was found badly injured near the cage. Doctors rushed to the seen, but it was too late for the tiger. The postmortem confirmed that he died from a snake bite. According to the Zoo managers, it appears the Tiger had a bloody fight with the Black Cobra, in which the snake was badly hurt, but still managed to bite the white beast. After the fight, the injured Cobra was found hiding inside a small burrow within the enclosure. He is now being treated by the Zoo vets.
The sad incident has left Indore Zoo with only three white tigers, Diva, Shivani and their mother Sita.
A few days after the tragedy, the Zoo administration decided to install a thin wire mesh around all the animal enclosures, as well as build trenches to block crawling reptiles from penetrating the cages. In addition, Zoo officials said they would trim grass within and around cages so they can easily spot any crawling reptiles.
Since its foundation in 1972, it is the first incident of its kind in the Indore Zoo, which has more than 65 cages in its facilities, and contains approximately 432 different wild animals and birds.
About the Black Cobra
This subspecies actually belongs to the famous Naja naja family of Cobras, also known as Indian Cobras or Spectacled Cobras. The Black Cobra might be known for his extremely powerful venom, but most of his strikes on humans (90%) are dry bites. He usually strikes only to warn people to stay away.
Contrary to the White Tiger, Black cobras are not endangered, and are very common throughout India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
Black cobras are not always black. They may also be olive-gray or some shade of brown. They will grow to lengths of 6 to 8 feet, and feed on rats, mice, chicken and other reptiles. Like most other Cobras, once it isolates its prey, the Black Cobra will strike and then wait for his venom to paralyze the poor animal. He will then swallow it whole.
The Black Cobra will usually avoid humans, but if he is provoked too much and feels threatened, it will raise its body, flaring its hood and skin, putting up his attack posture.
Black cobras are extremely revered and worshiped across India and in Hindu mythology, while Science has also been using the wonders of this powerful snake. The Drug Development Division of the India Institute of Chemical Biology found in 2007 that the venom of Black Cobras contains proteins that can be effective in anti-cancer treatments. The Black Cobra’s venom has also been used by American pharmaceutical companies in pain-killing medications.
About The White Tiger
For more information about the Conservation of White Tigers, visit the Indian Tiger Welfare Society.