A tiger cub, which was less than eight months old, had strayed into human habitation in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve on Saturday night.

The cub, rescued by locals, was handed over to the Forest officials, who have kept it in the Thalamalai Range office in the Reserve.

Forest department sources said the cub was found in a banana plantation in Thalamalai village on Saturday night around 9.30 p.m. The plantation owner informed the forest officials about the cub. The officials hoping that the cub's mother would come and take it back did not rescue the cub from the plantation till morning. As there was no response from the mother, the authorities took it to the Thalamalai Range office.

A senior Forest officer said the cub was found to be weak as it was under stress after it lost its mother. It was still not known from where the cub strayed into the plantation. The authorities also searched for pug marks of the mother in and around the area, where the cub was sighted. However, they could not trace any pug mark, the officer said.

Already Forest authorities were consulting with the officials of the National Tiger Conservation Authority on how to rehabilitate the strayed cub.

Sources in the department said mostly the cub would be brought to the Vandalur zoo for rehabilitation.

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