Far from being a safe heaven, Bhubaneshwar's Nandankanan Zoological Park has become a graveyard for the tigers. In the past one year, more than 15 tigers have died in the park. On July 5, 2001, Bisakha, a 20-year-old Royal Bengal tigress died of pneumonia after a prolonged illness. "Heavy rainfall proved fatal for the tigress,' said a park official. Experts ask why Bisakha was not shifted to the hospital in such weather conditions.

The park authorities have come in for strong criticism for their negligence. In June 2001, a 12-year-old Royal Bengal tigress died due to respiratory problems. Another two tigers died while they were being shifted to zoological parks in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. Twelve Royal Bengal tigers of the park had died on July 5, 2000, after contracting a parasitic infection. Following the incident, there was a controversy over the real reason of the deaths and doubts were raised over the scientific management of the park (see

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