Hima Das has won hearts of millions of Indians thanks to her recent medal spree.
The ace Indian sprinter, who has bagged five back-to-back gold medals in less than a month, has had a dream run in terms of performance.
And now to honour her, a state-run zoo in Karnataka has named a recently-born tiger cub after her.
The six-month-old Royal Bengal tiger cub at Karnataka’s Bannerghatta Biological Park was named Hima to mark the International Tiger Day on July 29.
Tiger conservation efforts in India seem to be paying off as the country now has nearly 3,000 tigers in the wild. Half of them are in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, according to the latest tiger estimation report for 2018, released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently.
“In view of International Tiger Day, a group of eight tigers were released to the safari area of Bannerghatta Biological Park for public viewing. This included the mother and seven cubs from two litters. Out of the four cubs from the second litter, the fourth cub has been named as Hima, to honour athlete Hima Das who won her fifth gold medal in the last 20 days,” the executive director of Bannerghatta Biological Park, Vanashree Vipin Singh, said in a statement.
Hima has won five gold medals at various competitions in Poland and the Czech Republic over the past month, clocking 52.09 seconds to top her previous best of 52.88 seconds.
The ‘Dhing Express’ Hima still needs to qualify for the World Championships, and from there on work even harder to claim a ticket for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in order to mark herself out as one of the world’s top athletes.
She is not the only sports personality to have wild animals named after her as earlier the Bannerghatta Rescue Centre named two sloth bears after Indian wicketkeeper-batsman and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj.
The Global Tiger Day or International Tiger Day is celebrated every year on July 29 to raise awareness for tiger conservation.