As Prabhas-starrer ‘Bahubali-2’ keeps setting new records globally, the state-run Nandankan zoo here was not spared from the movie’s soaring craze. It was evident after the zoo authorities on Wednesday named a 13-month tiger cub as “Baahubali” at the presence of new forest and environment minister Bijayshree Routray.
The zoo management resorted to a unique tactic before naming the cub. They said the name was voted by tourists. “We put a drop box outside the tiger enclosure and asked tourists to drop chits, suggesting names for total seven tiger cubs, who were born last year.
Out of total 2200 chits dropped in the box, we found name of Bahubali suggested by more than 1200 people. Accordingly to we decided to name a cub after Bahubali, a name that is apt for a tiger,” zoo’s director Shishir Acharya told TOI.
The drop box was kept on Tuesday and visitors were asked to put the chits between 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. On Wednesday morning, the zoo authorities opened the box and scrutinized the chits. Total 6400 tourists visited the zoo on Tuesday.
“Since aahubali denotes prowess and valour, we chose the particular cub for the name as he was born out of a wild tiger, named Nandan on April 20, 2016,” Acharya said. Names of other six cubs, including two female, were given as Kundan, Saahil, Adyasha, Vicky, Chinu and Mousumi. While Bahubali and Kundan are 13-month old, the remaining cubs were between 8 and 9 months.
Sources said minister Bijayshree Routray, who was at the zoo to inaugurate a drinking water counter for tourists, was pleasantly surprised when he heard about the plan to name the cub after Bahubali. “Since the minister was in the zoo, we requested him to make the formal naming of the cub before the gathering of tourists and our staffers,” another zoo officer said.
At present, the zoo’s big cat population stands at 27. The zoo authorities said they usually name cubs several months after their birth. “Most of the time, we engaged school children to suggest names. We asked different schools to suggest us names of cubs. The names opted by majority of the students were given to cubs,” Acharya said.
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