Managing the Genes
In line with
management policy at Tiger Canyons, the largest and most productive
male, Seatao has been vasectomised. In a two hour operation, Dr.
Charlotte Mouiex performed the vasectomy.
Dr Charlotte Mouiex cuts the tube that transports the sperm on
operation, Seatao was weighed and tipped the scales at 222
kilograms. During the weighing, Seatao woke up briefly, causing some
consternation amongst the workers lifting him.
Seatao tips the scales at 220kg
Shy Boy and Tiger Boy as the third male to be vasectomised at Tiger
Canyons. Seatao fathered Tigress Julie's second litter of three of
which Sundarban and Zaria survive. (Shine, the third cub and a white
tigress was killed in an attempted theft (See
Seatao has been the most prolific breeding male at Tiger Canyons,
fathering cubs with both Julie and Shadow
fathered Julie’s third litter of five of which four: Indira,
Mahindra, Tibo (white tigress) and Ussuri (has three small cubs) all
also produced a litter of cubs fathered by Seatao, of which an
unknown number survive. I believe some of the cubs were killed by
In a recent
mating between Tibo and Shy Boy, Tibo instinctively knows that Shy
Boy (vasectomised) cannot impregnate her. Therefore, after five
copulations, she began to seek out another male, calling from the
high rocks. Eventually, a desperate Tibo left her territory to
pursue Sundarban. Sundarban, however, showed little interest in
copulating with Tibo.
I had seen
this behaviour before when Sundarban allowed Mahindra to mate with
Panna when Panna was in full oestrus and was vigorously pursuing
(studying veterinary science) had made the observation previously
that Sundarban seemed to have a condition called ‘cryptochid’ (This
is when the testicles are inside the body).
After vasectomising Seatao, I
asked Dr. Charlotte Mouiex to dart Sundarban so we could do a
thorough inspection. Sure enough, Sundarban has the condition ‘cryptochid’.
His testicles are inside the body and therefore the temperature of
the sperm is too high to be productive. On doing a sonar scan, we
were unable to find any testicles at all.
Sundarban has the condition called cryptochid which is where the
testicles are internal to the body and therefore the temperature of
the sperm is too high
newsletter 74, I told you about the new tiger behaviour when
Sundarban and Mahindra formed a coalition similar to male lions. I
now believe that Sundarban’s ‘cryptochid’ condition makes his libido
and hence his aggression much lower than normal breeding males.
this, Sundarban has been in several brutal fights (See
newsletter 74) and has ousted Shy Boy and Tiger Boy from their
territories. Therefore his desire to control as much territory as
possible remains the same, while he is libido remains low.
In fact, as
he expands his territory, he is moving perilously close to Ussuri’s
den site. If he beats up Sariska (the father of Ussuri’s cubs) and
takes Sariska’s territory, he could well kill the cubs. However, the
theory behind this, is that Sundarban would kill the cubs to bring
Ussuri into oestrus so he can inject his own genes. Sundarban does
not have any genes to inject because he’s ‘cryptochid’ so would he
worry to kill the cubs? I will be sure to keep you informed as
Sariska, father of Ussuri's cubs, showing normal testicles outside
males presently at Tiger Canyons are Corbett and Sariska from the
Shadow gene line and Mahindra from the Julie gene line. Kumba
(twelve weeks old) will eventually become the third gene line called
the ‘Aurora’ gene line at Tiger Canyons.
Canyons experiment continues to produce new facts in the fields of
veterinary science, genetics, territorial behaviour and
profiling of all the tigers and cheetah is presently underway, which
will help us take some of the difficult decisions when it comes to
managing the genes.
Tread Lightly on the Earth
Leather bound editions of "In the Jaws of the
I expect have the leather bound editions in two
weeks time and will post to all who who have ordered. My sincere
apologies for the delay.