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Updated January 29th, 2024 at 16:25 IST

World’s First Melanistic Tiger Safari In Odisha: What Do We Know About These Majestic Creatures?

"Glad to announce that Odisha is setting up an exclusive Melanistic Tiger Safari near Similipal Tiger Reserve" - Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.

Melanistic tiger or black tiger
Melanistic tiger or black tiger | Image:Naveen Patnaik on X
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The Government of Odisha is set to establish the world's first melanistic tiger safari near Baripada in the Mayurbhanj district. These black tigers have only been spotted exclusively at Similipal and this is the first time that the world will get to witness this majestic creature.

What are melanistic tigers?

These black tigers do not have a separate species and till now, have only been spotted in Mayurbhanj’s Similipal. They have thick black stripes and as per the last All India Tiger Estimation Report, published by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2018, melanistic tigers have been found in the wild only in Similipal Tiger Reserve.

Black tiger | Image: Naveen Patnaik on X

What are the plans for the tiger safari?

As per ANI reports, a huge 200-hectare area adjacent to NH-18 has been earmarked for this unique project, with 100 hectares dedicated to the display area and the remaining space allocated for veterinary care facilities, a rescue centre, staff infrastructure, and visitor amenities. Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik shared the news on his X handle, previously called Twitter, saying “ Glad to announce that #Odisha is setting up an exclusive Melanistic Tiger Safari near Similipal Tiger Reserve in #Mayurbhanj. Tourists and visitors can now have a glimpse of the rare and majestic species found only in Odisha.”

How are people reacting to the news?

The reaction to the newly announced tiger safari is mostly mixed. While some people are intrigued by the initiative, others are apprehensive. There are always reservations when human beings take on activities that can interfere with the wildlife, but most netizens believe that this step will help in conservation of these unique tigers. An X user, in reply to the CM’s tweet compared it to Nandan Kanan and wrote, “Setting up a melanistic tiger safari, with plan for future, NEAR Similipal, will certainly cater to the interest of tourists, students, and overseas tiger breeders. It will also remind white tiger safari efforts at N. kanan.’

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Published January 29th, 2024 at 16:25 IST

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