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Tigress rescued from abandoned rubber factory in U.P.

A tigress living in an abandoned rubber factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district at least since December 2019 was rescued after an 18-day tracking operation, said officials on Friday.

She was released in the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve at night.

The tigress was first detected in the dilapidated factory, just around 6 km east of Bareilly, in November-December, 2019, Mayukh Chatterjee, head Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), told The Hindu.

The operation was carried out by a team of the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department along with the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve and the WTI.

Sushant Soma, wildlife biologist, WTI, said, “The tigress is a fully mature adult as judged by the yellowing of her canines, roughly around five-seven years of age, but for her age, she seems a little less developed at just 115 kg body weight and had a relatively small stature (body length is 140 cm) and pug size.”

Spread over 1,200 hectares, the synthetic rubber chemical factory shut down three decades ago leading to dense growth of vegetation in its compound, he added. As a result, there was ample prey available, including black bucks, wild pigs and rhesus macaques.

The abandoned factory is a dense labyrinth of vegetation intermixed with massive broken down sheds, oil tanks and tunnels, said Mr. Chatterjee. The tigress was tranquillised after being spotted in an old oil tank and an earth mover was used to tear the tank open, he further said.

Chief Conservator of Forest Bareilly zone Lalit Verma said it was a tricky rescue operation because the tigress was confined in the oil tank. “We were hoping it would come out due to hunger, but it did not,” he said.

Mr. Verma said the animal was spotted in March 2020, and stayed on the premises for 15 months. “Normally, in such time the animals moves elsewhere but it was continuously being spotted that too late night or in early hours,” he said. An operation was started to track the tigress in 2020, but due to the pandemic, the officials had to stop their efforts.

This is the second tiger rescued from the factory in the last three years.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 1:43:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tigress-rescued-from-abandoned-rubber-factory-in-up/article34850538.ece

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