The Madhya Pradesh forest department has issued a clarification denying allegations that tigers at Bandhavgarh national park were using fairness cream to attract more tourists.
The park is a major tourist attraction for its Tiger Safari. The first white tiger Mohan was spotted at Bandhavgarh and since then the park is known for white tiger sightings.
“Many tourists come for the elusive white tiger. But saying that the regular tigers are using fairness creams to attract tourists is entirely absurd,” said a park official.
Lately however, few tourists expressed concern that tigers were looking fairer than usual, fueling speculations over usage of creams.
Speaking to Faking News the Officer in-charge at the park said, “Yes, we have been getting queries from regular tourists but let me say that it’s nothing more than hearsay. The tigers are popular among tourist and we need not resort to using ‘whitening cream’ for getting more visitors.”
Tourists however are not buying this excuse and are planning to take it up with higher authorities.
“I had visited the park last week and saw a few used tubes of fairness cream amidst the bushes. Now those cannot be left behind by tourists. It’s a park, not a salon. We demand that the park authorities come clean on this,” said a regular visitor.
Another tourist who had visited the park on several occasions in the past, admitted to having noticed something different about the tigers. “I can tell by just looking at it. The fairness of these tigers reminds me of my wife’s visit to the beauty parlor. She never admits to doing anything, but I can clearly tell that behind her ‘naturally fair and glowing look’ are the hours spent getting those facials done,” he said while requesting our reporter to keep his identity a secret, for the fear of getting an earful from his wife.
Social media was quick to lap up the news of ‘fairness cream for white tigers’ and it didn’t take much time for a few local news channels to carry a ‘Special Report’.
The media enthusiasm ended up being a headache for the Forest Department. Apparently, officials caught a news reporter dressed as a white tiger, who was on the lookout for Mohan’s descendants in the park to know ‘their opinion on the entire issue’.
Not just reporters, animal activists too sought answers. “If this news is indeed true, it could lead to inferiority complex among other animals in the park,” said one activist.
Park authorities are now trying their best to prevent this issue from snowballing into a major controversy.
“The only way to put this matter to rest is by asking more people to visit the park, check out the tiger safari and see for themselves if any of these rumors about fairness creams are true,” said a Senior Official of the park, hoping that people would focus more on the biodiversity of Bandhavgarh National Park than the ‘whiteness’ of tigers.
Click to know more about the Tiger Safari of Bandhavgarh.