West Bengal Mourns Demise of India’s Longest Surviving Tiger “Raja”
The majestic animal didn't show any signs of illness but succumbed to the perils of old age
Leaving everyone in mourning, Raja, the oldest Bengal tiger in West Bengal has died at a shelter in Jaldapara forest in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal. The animal died at the age of 25 years and 10 months, which makes him India’s longest surviving tiger. Generally, the big cats don’t live more than 20 years.
According to Dipak M, Jaldapara wildlife divisional forest officer;
The success story of Raja will always be remembered as one of the greatest and rarest examples of ex-situ conservation in the history of Directorate of Forests, West Bengal.
Dipak paid a heartfelt tribute to the majestic animal at the center along with Alipurdar DM, Surendra Kumar Meena, and other officers of the forest department. The officials said that Raja died at around 3 AM. As per Chief Wildlife Warden Debal Roy, the animal did not show any signs of serious illness. Even the vets diagnosed that his death was due to old-age-related problems that surfaced all of a sudden.
Raja was living at the South Khayerbari Tiger Rescue Centre since 2008. He walked on a prosthetic limb after losing the original one during a crocodile attack while swimming across a narrow creek in the Sunderbans. At that time, the tiger’s age was 12 as per various standard protocols that assess an animal’s age.
Raja was good at responding to the keepers’ calls, and even vets looking after him mentioned that he was playful just like a child but understood everything. Here is a clip of Surendra Kumar Meena, of the Directorate of Forests in Jaldapara, paying tribute to India’s longest surviving tiger:
“RAJA” the tiger ( 25yrs 10 months) at SKB rescue center, died on 11th July, 2022, arround 3 AM , it was one of the the oldest surviving tiger in the country, leaving everyone in state of mourning.
— Surendra Kumar Meena IAS (@iSurendraMeena) July 11, 2022
Via: Hindustan Times