Demand Zoo Release Wild Tiger that Wandered Onto Property

Target: Nandankanan Zoological Park

Goal: Release Bengal tiger that wandered onto the property back into the wild where it belongs

According to zoo officials from Nandankanan Zoological Park located in India, a male Bengal tiger was caught roaming the region near a tigress named Sara, who lives at the zoo. The tiger was first located in a nearby safari park but has recently started to move towards the animal facilities. Although the last reported case of a wild tiger entering a zoo was in January 1967, when a Royal Bengal tigress jumped into a cage after hearing the male tiger’s mating call, this huge tiger has been worrying the zoo after he continued to come closer to the establishment. Now that the tiger has entered the zoo, the park has been closed down and the officials are unsure as to what to do with the tiger. The tiger has grown up as a wild animal his entire life and he should not be subjected to staying at the zoo simply because he was caught in it. The tiger must be released back into the wild.

Zoo officials stated that they had opened up the emergency gates when the tiger finally reached the zoo after roaming the park for months. The officials closed down the zoo to monitor the behavior of the seven-year-old tiger and based on his movements, they believe that the tiger had the urge to mate with tigress Sara. The zoo currently has 24 tigers and all of their male tigers originated from one of the male tigers brought to the zoo back in 1965. Due to the lack of genetic diversity, some of the senior zoo officials and even activists want the tiger to stay and breed.

One of the wildlife activists, Subhendu Mallick, said “If the male tiger is retained in the zoo, it would widen the gene pool and infuse new blood into the tiger conservation and breeding program at the park.” However, other wildlife officials have stated that if the tiger were to return to the wild, they could give him a radio collar that would allow scientists to track and observe his movement patterns. Releasing him back into the wild would not only benefit him, it would also help with the research into these majestic creatures. Back in 2011, a census estimated that there are only 1,700 tigers living in wild India.

The wild tiger stumbled upon the Zoo and was unfortunately captured. It is a completely healthy tiger. This tiger must be released into the wild where it can continue to roam freely.


Dear Nandankanan Zoological Park,

Recently, a male Royal Bengal tiger was seen roaming near the areas of the Nandankanan Zoological Park. After zoo officials opened the emergency gates and closed down the zoo, the tiger entered the facilities and was subsequently captured. This huge cat was reported to be completely healthy and since it grew up in the wild, it deserves to be released.

I understand that the gene pool of the 24 tigers currently living at the zoo is limited since all of the male tigers originated from one male tiger back in 1965. But that does not mean that the zoo should keep this seven-year-old cat for its own reasons. As enticing as diversifying the genetic pool might seem, the zoo must do the right thing.

Release the tiger back into the wild.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit:  flickrfavorites via Flickr

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  1. J Davidson says:

    Why keep this animal as a prisoner in a zoo, when he can survive so well in his own wild habitat?

  2. Pure infantile primitivism – what kind of idiotic monsters are able to handle and destroy living creatures in that way is unbelievable – monsters are not humans and deserves monsterwork too.

    People need to vote unacting dumb authorities and officials acting irresponsibly to futuregenerations out of occupations NOW AND FOR ALL!

    “While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal positions on this earth?”
    George Bernhard Shaw

  3. Cheryl Costigan says:

    Seems to me genetic material could be captured and the tiger released to the wild.

  4. Biswajit Mohanty says:

    The petition should be addressed to the Hon’ble Minister for Forest and Environment, Government of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, Odisha and also the Minister for Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi.
    This zoo is notorious for imprisoning wild ranging animals. They have done many times in the past. Rescued wildlife who are otherwise healthy and fit to be released are kept in very cruel conditions here. They tried to retain a leopard rescued from the wild last year but after protests had to release it.

  5. Biswajit Mohanty says:

    Acquiring a wild animal for a zoo is an offence under the Wildlife laws. The concerned officer who takes the decision may face prosecution under the Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972 since it would amount to “hunting”. Nandan Kanan Zoo is a sanctuary no doubt but a tiny one ,i.e.,less than 100 acres ! No tiger can ever live here as a free one . It has to be caged otherwise there would be instances of human kills.

    The Chief Wildlife Warden is expected to decide keeping in view the interests of the wild animal, which would definitely like to roam free instead of being cooped up in a tiny cage ! No tiger is safe in the wild now in India due to poachers . Does it mean that we will capture all wild tigers and imprison them in a zoo ?

    Tigers have been re introduced in India in Parks which have lost tigers . These areas were not their original territory. Post introduction monitoring reveals that these tigers are doing well.There is no dire need to identify the traditional territory of the tiger. IF the department is unable to find out, I wonder what was happening under the tiger monitoring and camera trapping going on in the state since the last 6 years. They are supposed to have camera trapped every individual wild tiger and should be in a position now to recognize each tiger and from where it has come.

    Incidentally, no Zoo in the country does conservation breeding of tigers since not a single zoo tiger can be released in the wild. What conservation value does a zoo tiger have is difficult to understand.

    We value the rights of animals and every wild animal has the right to stay in the wild. The Wildlife Society of Orissa has been demanding that Zoos should be closed down in India and only used as rescue centres and not as display centres. They are centres of cruelty as keeping animals in a confined space is sheer torture! If we want to teach our children about wildlife, this knowledge should be garnered from films and TV programs or by watching wildlife in their natural habitat.

    Unfortunately, most school children and even adults in Odisha now believe that to see wildlife , one has to visit the Zoo and not Sanctuaries ! The reason is simple since all wildlife has disappeared from our Sanctuaries due to rampant poaching.

    Biswajit Mohanty, Ph.d,
    Secretary,Wildlife Society of Orissa &
    Member, National Board for Wildlife, Govt. of India

  6. Belinda Wright says:

    I am deeply troubled by the remarks made below by the Asst Director of Nandankanan Zoo.
    This adult wild tiger has not harmed anyone and has survived in the wild for about 7 years, so the absence of prey or possible conflict with humans cannot possibly be used as an excuse for this tiger not to be returned to the wild.
    There are very few wild tigers and each individual is critical to the long-term survival of tigers in the wild. At the same time there are tens of thousands of tigers in captivity. Most zoos in India and worldwide are trying to curtail numbers, so please let’s not talk about “conservation breeding” or this tigers “semen” as an excuse to keep this wild tiger caged for the rest of his life! And how can anyone possible compare food, shelter and “survival” in captivity, with freedom in the wild? You only have to look into the eyes of a wild-caught big cat – or for that matter a person in jail – to understand that.
    This wild tiger should be set free immediately. There are no ‘if’s or ‘but’s about this. Every well-informed forest officer and wildlife conservationist understands that this tiger’s place is in the wild and not behind bars.

  7. sanjib kumar das says:

    I am deeply shocked and astonished how the authorities like famous zoo NZP has done wrong enough to keep the healthy male RBT without any his rights.He should be free in their habitat.

  8. Harshit Sharma says:

    I’m glad to see someone is trying to Help them.
    I’ll do my best to spread this Message to as many people as i can.

    Please Guys/Girls,
    it’s time to show some Respect to them. 🙂

  9. Sandra Amici says:

    My question is this, “if there are so many poachers, why don’t you poach the poachers to protect the tigers?”

  10. Sir, with a due respect, I have some queries for you if you can spare some time for it.

    1. Why the Tiger’s territory isn’t identified? Why should one just assume the tiger’s territory? Accordingly tiger reserves should have identification for each tiger in the area. Does it means there is no data available with forest department for this tiger? A big WHY?

    2. Per National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016) the Zoo is also responsible for rehabilitation of endangered specie as per IUCN guidelines. How would you justify not only Azad, but other tigers as well to release again in wild (keeping the points 1-4 you mentioned above). Does that mean no captive big cat would be rehabilitated to Wild?

    3. As per you, Azad is attracted towards Sara. Is that proven, or an assumption?

    4. I’m impressed with your words for a mating session and re-distribution of his gene. Now I want to know what will happen to him after this session? Would the Zoo release him? I am concerned about long term (rest of his life). If not, please let know the reason for tossing the point of mating in between this conversation.

    Thanks & Regards
    Black Pearl

    • Black Pearl,
      Sorry, I am unable to address you as Sir or Madam because you have not disclosed your identity and the name you have registered does not reveal your identity. Please let me know your identity, your background and your knowledge on Indian Tigers especially on the re-introduction of captive born large cats in India, so that I shall be in a position to meet your query.
      Thanks and Regards.

      • Hello Mr. Purohit,

        Thanks for your revert back. You may address me as Mr. and I am one out of 1.27 billion Indian nationals. Revealing identity is something I can expect from anyone, but do one common man really have to declare his/ her qualification about the matter to be eligible to ask something to authorities? Is there any set criteria that I may not know yet?
        I asked you 4 simplest question, and you’re asking me for my knowledge. Makes sense?

        Sir, this is again a humble request, to please address me with answers to my queries. Not necessarily, I would be right no my part, but answering me you can correct me, and not answering me would prove me correct.

        Thanks & Regards
        Black Pearl

  11. I have considered each point in question and have come to the conclusion that the tiger should be released if it wants to. Open the gates and see if it wants out if possible. If not ,there is your answer. It makes sense to me that the tiger may have answered the call of one of the captives, it may be lonely. Either way, the tiger should be allowed out if it wants to go.

  12. Ranjit K. Patnaik says:

    Cheers. The Tiger has escaped. He climbed the 18 ft. fencing of his enclosure and vanished into the night.

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