Coimbatore

ATR’s rescued tiger cub to learn hunting in large enclosure

The open enclosure built by the Forest Department for the rescued tiger cub at Manthirimattam in the core area of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve.

The open enclosure built by the Forest Department for the rescued tiger cub at Manthirimattam in the core area of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve.

Forest Department officials attached to the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) are all set to take up a unique task -- to aid a rescued tiger cub learn hunting in the absence of its mother.

Currently sheltered in a large cage at Manthirimattam in the core area of ATR within the limits of Manambolly forest range, the cub will be shifted to an open enclosure of 10,000 sq.ft in which live animals will be released for the carnivore to learn hunting.

The tiger cub was rescued by ATR staff after it was found stranded in a tea estate at Thaimudi near Valparai in September 2021. The eight-months-old animal also had injuries caused by a porcupine quill. The cub, now 16 months old and weighing 118 kg, is healthy according to ATR authorities.

The enclosure with proper fencing has a cave and watering hole for the tiger and a trench around it. The facility for the rewilding of the tiger cub was built at a cost of ₹75 lakh.

According to ATR Field Director S. Ramasubramanian, the cub will be shifted to the open enclosure after getting the approval from the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden (in-charge).

At present, the cub is given meat as well as small live prey like chicken and rabbit as feed. The cub also got to taste wild meat in the form of animals like deer that were killed in road accidents.

“After shifting to the enclosure, we plan to release live animals for the tiger cub to learn hunting. We also plan to lure wild animals like deer and wild boar into the enclosure using Boma technique which is followed in Africa,” said M.G. Ganesan, Deputy Field Director of ATR. 

He said that Manthirimattam, where the open enclosure is located, is in a shola forest region of ATR. Animals that tigers normally hunt such as spotted deer, sambar, mouse deer and wild boar are abundant in the location. 

Guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) were followed in the rescue and rehabilitation of the cub. ATR authorities are ensuring that a very few staff go to the cage to take care of the cub so that the animal does not get accustomed to humans. Visitors are not allowed to the location. 


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2022 5:10:51 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/atrs-rescued-tiger-cub-to-learn-hunting-in-large-enclosure/article65417151.ece