COIMBATORE: The forest department is planning to send the two tiger cubs rescued in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) to Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP) in Chennai on Monday for special neo-natal care. The male cubs, aged around three weeks, were rescued after their mother was found dead in the MTR on Friday.
MTR's field director K K Kaushal said that AAZP's veterinary surgeon K Sridha and MTR's forest veterinarian K Rajeshkumar were of the view that the cubs are highly vulnerable at this stage and need special care. “So, a collective decision has been made to send the animals to the Chennai zoo, where neo-natal care will be provided. For the first four months, the cubs will be nurtured at the zoo. Later, a call will be taken on whether or not they should be brought back to the MTR for in-situ rearing,” he said.
"Currently, the cubs are doing well. They are being fed with vet milk replacement powder as per the National Tiger Conservation Authority guidelines. Besides, precautionary measures are being taken to safely transport the cubs to Chennai," Kaushal informed.
The mother of the cubs was found dead at Seemarkuli Odai near Aachakarai in the Singara Range under the MTR. On Saturday, a postmortem was conducted and while officials said it was unlikely the animal was poisoned, they said the exact cause of the death will be known only results of pathological and forensic analysis was complete. As the tigress was found to have been lactating, staff searched the area around the carcass on Saturday and found the two cubs. "Tiger cubs are highly vulnerable not just from wild dogs, leopards, male tigers but even from herbivores, who see them as enemies. So the mother never leaves them alone," Kaushal had told The New Indian Express.