How would you feel if you ever go to a zoo where you hang out with a tiger outside its cage and do all sorts of fun with it, just like you do with your pet animal? Story of a movie? Not really. A tiger cub is literally growing up out of the cage, among the zoo-goers, with the cordial caring of the zoo authority, and viewers get the opportunity to get in touch with it often.
Such is the story of Joe Biden, a tiger cub at the Chattogram Zoo that is named after the 46th US president Joe Biden. The journey of this human-friendly tiger cub began on 14th November last year when its parents, the tiger couple Raj-Pori, gave birth to three cubs. However, the mother became inimical to the cubs soon after giving birth to them as two of the cubs died within a few days.
So the zoo authority separated the remaining one from the mother’s cage. Since then, the cub has been growing up in an open environment being allowed to make human friends. Initially, the cub was being fed goat’s milk only. As of now, it needs 1.5 kg of beef along with milk every day.
Just over half a year of age, the cub has been full of life in the zoo. It has the natural aggression of a tiger as it has already learned to roar, not so loud although. Again, tearing apart curator’s cloths by naughty bites, leaving harmless scratch by nipping, scaring other animals by entering their cages, and all its childish mischiefs make it more adorable.
Dr Mohammad Shahadat Hossen Shuvo, Deputy Curator of Chattogram Zoo, said, “Since it was not properly breastfed by the mother after its birth, it was a bit weaker initially. But, with our intensive care, it healed very quickly.”
The cub was born around the time when Joe Biden was certain to be the president with over 270 electoral votes confirmed. He promptly declared the USA’s return to ‘Paris Climate Agreement’ soon after taking the office. To honour the decision that can have a profound impact on the environment and wildlife around the globe, the cub was named after Joe Biden.
The cub was officially caged on 21 April this year as it has grown up enough to pose harm to the viewers, especially children. Nevertheless, it still comes out of the caze with the zoo authority every afternoon for some gentle strolling. The authority believes the animal shouldn’t be ripped off its habit all of a sudden. After a few days, there will be no more strolling and the cub will be permanently caged.
The writer is a Banking and Insurance student at the University of Chittagong.