Chhattisgarh zoo closed to mourn death of tigress

World'S Oldest Tiger

Raipur, Nov 19 (IANS) A zoo in Chhattisgarh was closed Friday to mourn the death of one of the world's oldest tigresses.

The tigress died Thursday at the age of a little over 22 years and 10 months at the government-run Nandan Van zoo that is based on the outskirts of state capital Raipur.

'Shankari was ailing for a few days and had enjoyed a lot of affection of visitors and even residents of nearby villagers,' Rakesh Chaturvedi, conservator of forests (wildlife), told IANS.

'The local people are even demanding a memorial to commemorate Shankari who was one of the oldest tigresses in the world,' he added.

A few villagers had offered their land near the zoo to the forest department for construction of the memorial, he said.

R.S. Mishra, a zoo official, said over 1,500 people Thursday attended the last rites of the tigress that was in the zoo since January 1994 after being captured in an injured condition from a forested pocket of Mainpur in Raipur district.

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