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    Rare Indian tigers spotted at Simlipal

    Bhubaneswar, June 4 (PTI) Three rare Melanistic Indian tigers have been spotted in the Similipal National Park in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district.

    Official sources said that rare black tigers were spotted at the state's only tiger reserve during the ongoing tiger census through camera-trap method. The census is being conducted by the surveyors from Wildlife Institute of India by installing cameras in 30 different locations in the core area of the 2750 sq km national park.

    "The cameras captured the pictures of one female and two cubs of black colour," the sources said, adding the survey team had so far captured pictures of six tigers of whom three were black in colour.

    The tigers had light brown coat with jet black stripes which is due to genetic reasons. "The sample census is being conducted only in 120 sq km area," said chief wildlife warden Suresh Mohanty. The core area inside the park is spread over 850 sq km.

    While describing existence of black tigers in Similipal National Park as 'usual', Mohanty said. Noted tiger expert and former chief wildlife warden of Orissa Saroj Kumar Patnaik told PTI that the black tigers were earlier spotted way back in 1993 at Pedagarh in the park area. This apart, the black tigers were spotted for the second time in 2004 at Debasthal in the core area, Patnaik said.

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