Bhubaneswar, Jan 13 (PTI) The tiger population at the Nandankanan zoo here increased from 24 to 26 after a white tigress gave birth to two cubs in captivity, a zoo official said today.

Ankita, the white tigress, gave birth to two normal- coloured cubs in an enclosure of the Nandankanan Zoological Park here last night, the official said, adding that today happened to be Ankita’s birthday.

The tigress delivered the first cub at 10.12 pm and the second one at 10.40 pm. The entire process was monitored through CCTV cameras, the official said.

Ankita had mated with Saif, a normal-coloured, zoo-bred tiger. Saif was brought here from the Hyderabad zoo last year.

Ankita was born in the Nandankanan zoo in 2012.

Of the 26 tigers in the zoo, eight were white (a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger), the official said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.