Breeding programs for the Bengal tiger of India were started from the year 1880 only. The tigers were bred for the first time at the Alipore Zoo of Calcutta (now Kolkata). Since the breeding program for Indian Bengal tigers turned out to be very successful, more programs were carried out. The last two decades have seen many more programs receiving success. International Tiger Studbook of 1994 revealed the global captive population of the Bengal tigers to be somewhere around 333.
The quality of breeding programs is getting very much affected these
days. The reason for this is that the Indian Bengal tigers are being
mixed with other subspecies of tigers brought by dealers from outside
India. The lineage of such captive tigers becomes highly questionable
and they become inappropriate for conservation purposes. The entire
captive population of Bengal tiger has been kept in the Indian zoos
only, except for one female Bengal tiger that is presently in North
Many zoological parks in India are also carrying out breeding programs
revolving around the Bengal Tiger of India under carefully controlled
conditions. Not a very long time back, a lion cub was born in the
Calcutta (Kolkata) zoo. However, the newborn cubs are genetically quite
different from the older tigers. This is because of a feature of their
genetic recombination, which is known as genetic variation. This genetic
variation helps the cubs in adapting to the nature as well as fighting
against any odds.