RAJAN (1993-2006)

Churumuri records with a heavy heart and moist eyes the passing away of Rajan, the stunning white male tiger at the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysore last evening. Rajan, who was brought from the Nandan Kanan zoo in Orissa ten years ago, was suffering from complications in the spinal cord and had been under treatment since January 2004. But the end came at 6.10 pm due to self-mutilation of the hind limb above an old wound.

Rajan—big, brilliant and beautiful—who breathed the air we breathe and drank the water we drink, was a great advertisement for animals, but he was an even greater advertisement for human beings. Two years ago, when his spinal cord compression first showed up he had been wheeled into the super-speciality Vikram hospital in Yadavagiri for a scan. A real CAT scan, if you will. Take that, zoo-haters.

Rajan survived the surgeon’s scalpel but not his own teeth in the end. Rest in Peace, Rajan, you brought more people to your adopted City than most pudaris and babus moving around with a “master plan”.

PHOTOS COURTESY: M.A. SREERAM, The Hindu; SAGGERE RAMASWAMY, Karnataka Photo News

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9 Responses to “RAJAN (1993-2006)”

  1. rk Says:

    Felt sad reading that he died due to self mutilation. Must have hurt the poor thing terribly. Eyes filled with tears. RIP, Rajan.

  2. Desi Says:

    Rajan was a great fighter. He taught us humans a lesson who suffer from physical and mental ailness how to survive and fight back.

    RIP, Rajan.

  3. Avinash Says:

    I would like to second rk’s feelings. :'(
    RIP, Rajan.

  4. Dheerendra Gopal Says:

    Someone please post an Image of Rajan

  5. TS Satyan Says:

    Yes, my eyes were moist when I read about Rajan’s death. I had the good fortune of photographing the first white tiger found in the State of Rewa many years ago. Later, I went to Rewa on assignment from LIFE magazine and stayed in the palace as the Maharaja’s guest. That was when he sent a white tiger to the Washington Zoo. In fact, I travelled with the caged tiger in a truck all the way from Rewa to Ahmedabad before it was flown from Bombay to Washington.

  6. Dheerendra Gopal Says:

    Thanks for the Photo KP,
    truely Majestic !

  7. rk Says:

    thanks for the pictures. feels sad that RAJU is no more.

  8. Arun Says:

    Rajan was a known citizen of Mysore. His death is a sad piece of news to the city. Just wondering, so many of his clan are poached in the forests. In wild, or in captivity, we are forgetting, that this is our National Animal. When z+ security is provided to some nth graded politicians, why not adequate protection to the National Animal. Also shouldn’t State funeral be a befitting manner to show our respect to the wonderful creature?

  9. Harshith_mysore Says:

    It was so beautiful,

    Rest In Peace Rajan

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