Parveen Kaswan, an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer who often shares fascinating facts about wildlife, recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to share pictures of ‘pseudo-melanistic’ tigers found in Simlipal, Odisha. On Friday, he posted the captivating photos of this extraordinary tiger along with details about its rarity and origin. In particular, the melanistic tigers – a rare gene pool where the black stripes are far more prominent than the Royal Bengal Tigers – are found only in Odisha. They are often referred to as ‘black tigers’ due to their dense and dark stripe patterns.
“The black tigers of #India. Do you know there are pseudomelanistic tigers in Simlipal. They are like that due to genetic mutation and very rare. Such a beautiful creature,” Mr Kaswan wrote on X.
Take a look at the pictures below:
The black tigers of #India. Do you know that there are pseudomelanistic tigers in Simlipal. They are like that due to genetic mutation and very rare. Such a beautiful creature. pic.twitter.com/X1TEw8r1cD
— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) December 22, 2023
In the following tweet, the IFS officer also gave a brief history of ‘pseudo-melanistic’ tigers in Similipal. He noted that the first confirmed record dates back to 1993 when a young boy from Pdagad village shot down a ‘black’ tiger with arrows in self-defence. He also said that it was not until 2007 that these tigers were officially discovered in the reserve, marking the beginning of a series of documented sightings.
“The first confirmed record of the now famous pseudo-melanistic tigers from Similipal came in 1993. On July 21, 1993, Salku, a young boy from Podagad village shot down a ‘black’ tiger with arrows in self-defense. The rare tigers were first officially discovered in STR in 2007. Over time, more were documented. They are due to rare genetic mutation and are found in a small population.” Sir. Kaswan wrote.
The IFS employee shared the post just a day ago and since then it has accumulated more than 147,000 views and over 4,000 likes. It even got several reactions from X users. While some called the pictures amazing, others called them beautiful.
“Nature is amazing. Amazing creatures,” wrote one user. “Wow. All their stripes ran together like ink. Very interesting and beautiful,” commented another.
“What a sight! Hope we will be able to preserve this amazing wildlife forever,” added a third. “You are so lucky to be with such lovely creations of nature and God,” expressed another.
Meanwhile, Mr Kaswan’s post comes after Union Minister of State for Environment Ashiwini Kumar Choubey told the Rajya Sabha that there is a total 10 “Black Tigers” in India, all found exclusively in Odisha’s Similipal. As per the 2022 cycle of the pan-India tiger assessment exercise, the Similipal Tiger Reserve has 16 tigers, of which 10 exhibit melanism, he said.
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