Indore priests perform fire rituals to ensure long life for ailing ‘big cats’

December 14th, 2007 - 1:18 pm ICT by admin  

Indore, Dec 14 (ANI): Hindu priests performed a series of fire rituals at the Kamla Nehru Zoo here for the long life of an ailing tigress and a lioness.
Sixteen-year-old lioness Rani and seventeen-year-old tigress Meena have been ailing for the past year. The condition of both has deteriorated considerably in the last week.
Their plight touched Raju Sagar, a resident, so much that he organised a fire ritual for their well being.
Priests chanted hymns and also tied a holy thread to the iron bars of their cage.
The best of veterinarians have been roped in to take care of the cats.
Visitors to the zoo also joined in the prayers.
“I visited the zoo and when I saw the ritual being performed, I decided to pray for the long life and health of both animals,” said Meenakshi Aggarwal.
India has half the world’s surviving tiger population, but the demand for tiger skin and bone in China for making traditional medicines has severely affected the tiger population.
There were about 40,000 tigers in India a century ago, but decades of poaching and depletion of their natural habitat have cut their numbers to 3,700. According to some wildlife experts, the total could actually be as low as 1,200.
In September last year, India passed new legislation aimed at tackling the tiger crisis, providing for a National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCS) and a Wildlife Crime Bureau to investigate poaching and curbing the illegal trade in wildlife parts. (ANI)

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