Rescued Cub a Tiger Now to be Rewilded from ATR

The tiger now around 14 months old would be let into the wild a year later after he acquires good hunting skills.

In a first for Tamil Nadu, a fourteen-month-old tiger rescued as a five-month-old cub with injuries will be rewilded or let back into the wild from the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Pollachi.

As a first step, the tiger has been transferred to a 10000 sq ft enclosure in sanctuary for rehabilitation into the wild. “It has a cave or a tunnel to mimic the jungle besides a water pond. Though we had fed beef earlier, now he would have live animals like rabbits to begin with so he can hunt his own food”, told Ms Supriya Sahu, Forest Secretary of Tamil Nadu to  Authorities hope in one year, when the big cat would turn around  2 1/2 year old and  he would be ready to move from this enclosure to the wild. “The future plan is to empower the tiger to hunt on its own and make it ready for jungle life” Ms Sahu added.

The 10000 Sq ft rehabilitation encloselure has a pond, cave and live animals to feed.

The cub was attacked by a porcupine and found injured at a tea estate and got separated from its mother was saved by forest officials during their patrol last year.

“Sending the tiger to the zoo could be the easiest thing, but we don’t want to do it so” explained Ms Sahu.

Forest officials are doing everything scientifically working closely with The National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wild Life Institute of India. Dr Ramesh a Scientist from WII personally monitored the transfer.

In a first for India, 35 year old wild tusker Rivaldo was released into the wild in Tamil Nadu last year after treatment. He has integrated well with other herds.

Last year, the Tamil Nadu Government had successfully released 35-year-old  elephant Rivaldo into the wild after nearly three months of captivity. More than a decade ago, 4 inches of its trunk was cut off on a snare. Though he was harmless and friendly, the wild elephant was made captive in a kraal following demands after a wall collapse incident. However it was let off back in the wild with a state of art radio collar  that tracks its movement. On World Elephant Day, Chief Minister M K Stalin complimented the Forest Department for rewilding. He tweeted “let’s commit ourselves to conserve elephants and end their captivation and exploitation. Ensuring the majestic animal’s dignity is the duty of humankind.”

Forest officials and the court monitor the jumbo’s movement. Sources say now the tusker has migrated to Bandipur in Karnataka and mixes well with other herds. “The new government in Tamil Nadu is giving a push for rewilding. Rivaldo is a good success story.  This tiger rewilding too is another positive step. Freedom can’t be compromised” says Antony Rubin, Member, Tamil Nadu Wildlife Board.


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