A poor tiger lost between learning and adapting to human languages..

This news makes for a great story on lines of Animal Farm. The original was about taking a pot at socialism using a brilliant plot. This one could be on how humans are imposing their language standards on animals as well and confusing everybody in the process. In this new version, the animals could again take a pot on the language business devised and imposed by humans.

The news is about how a white tiger named Rama lived in Tamil Nadu for 5 years. He has now been taken to Udaipur zoo where there are worries over tiger not understanding instructions in Hindi:

Chennai-based animal keeper K. Chelliah, is the most sought after man in Udaipur Sajjangarh Zoo. Chelliah is now training animal keepers in Rajasthan on the nuances of Tamil words, used to command white tigers that are bred here in Tamil Nadu.

“Five-year-old Rama, donated to Rajasthan zoo from Chennai understands only Tamil. The local animal keepers are worried as they don’t know Tamil and efforts to communicate with Rama in Hindi is not helping”, recalls Chelliah. During my short stay in Udaipur last month, I have taught a few basic Tamil words like Vaa (come) and Po (go) to the park animal keepers, now handling Rama”, recalls the animal keeper, who nurtured Rama into a sub-adult.

“With a heavy heart, I had a brief chat with Rama before leaving Rajasthan. As a sub-adult, he is aggressive after sighting a Royal Bengal tiger in an adjacent enclosure and has stopped adhering to any command. I am in regular touch with my counterparts there in Rajasthan insisting them to talk to the feline in Tamil,” says Chelliah. I heard that the white tiger is now feeling better with park authorities moving the other big cat away from Rama, he adds.

Meanwhile, the celebrity tiger Rama has evoked heated debates in social media and online news portals. “Don’t force the Tiger to learn Hindi. That is not good”, read an online comment by Manickam Parameswaram. Responding to the trending debate another comment read, “He is a Tamil tiger, now he is posted in Rajasthan…. but Famed Citizen of India”.

 “With 11 white tigers available in TN and a few of them ready for exchange, animal keepers from TN are all set to teach Tamil commands for other zoo staffers shortly,” says wildlife enthusiast N. Balaji of The Nature Trust. For instance, mahouts from Kerala teach Malayalam for elephant handlers in south India, when the elephant calves are trained to learn their commands at captive elephant ca-mps, he adds.
The tiger must be really confused with all this. Why don’t these people either let me free or learn tigerese instead?

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