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Tigers by train: T`puram zoo big cats travel to Nagaland

The Times of India
Chennai
8 Jan 2017

CHENNAI: A fierce roar was Karthika`s way of expressing displeasure over the way her colleague Manikandan was garnering all attention.

The 12-year-old tigress, however, calmed down as she was ushered in before her nine-year-old friend. It was the first train ride for the two big cats from the Thiruvananthapuram zoo and Karthika was all excited on Friday morning.So were passengers and others at the railway station in the Kerala capital.

After all, it is not everyday that one gets to see tigers outside a zoo or a forest.The two are being transported to Dimapur in Nagaland in exchange for a Himalayan bear.

Ensconced in their special coaches on the KanyakumariDibrugarh Vivek Express, the two are expected to reach their destination in the northeast, about 3,800km away , on Sunday . Discounting the other fauna that usually exists on tra ins, these tigers are probably the first wild animals ever to travel on an Indian train on a confirmed ticket.


And Southern Railway officials have ensured that the `historic` journey goes off well, providing them with amenities even better than what regular passengers get.Veterinarians travelling with the animals got Emergency Quota (EQ) tickets in AC coaches. At Visakhapatnam, where the engine changes position, the officials also moved the coaches with the tigers.
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hope they have safe travelSaranathan Lakshminarasimhan


"The change in engine location would have meant the SLR coaches would have been closest to the engine. We wanted to keep them away from the shrill horn," said Sudheesh, senior divisional commercial manager, Trivandrum division.

To ensure that the tigers, which are sensitive to heat, remaing comfortable through the trip, water sprinklers have been provided inside the coach, he added. Railway Protection Force personnel were providing security for the special passengers, he added. Transporting the animals by train is easier than taking them by road as it takes 10 days and costs `6 lakh more, Sudheesh said."Train is also more comfortable for the animals. It is a safer and quicker mode of transport," he added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/tigers-by-train-thiruvananthapuram-zoo-big-cats-travel-to-nagaland/articleshow/56398942.cms