Telangana

Tiger cubs get rid of porcupine quills

The cubs of ‘talav wali’ tigress without the porcupine quills at Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.

The cubs of ‘talav wali’ tigress without the porcupine quills at Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.  

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The barbs might have been removed by their mother, says a wildlifer

In what was a lucky day for visitors, as many as nine tigers were sighted by them on December 24 in Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (TWS) in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra. Among these big cats were the two nearly 10-month-old cubs of the ‘talav wali’ tigress which had been hit with porcupine quills a couple of days back.

Spreading cheer among all concerned, the cubs were however seen without the barbs sticking out from various parts of their head. One of the cubs, the female, had at least eight quills lodged in the lower jaw, neck and legs while the male had two -- which had pierced its nose bridge and lower jaw.

The news also brought relief to conservation enthusiasts and foresters in Adilabad district, who expect the cubs to migrate to Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) at an appropriate time in future. It is a well known fact that Tipeshwar tigers have been migrating to KTR since long through two corridors that link the entities which exist about 60 km apart.

There are about 18 tigers teeming in the small 143 sq km of territory of TWS, including some sub-adult cubs, which may move out of the sanctuary at any time in near future. Already, one of the TWS big cats seems to have entered Adilabad district after crossing Penganga near Pippalkoti village in Tamsi mandal.

“The quills were perhaps removed by their mother as the cubs could not have bent their neck what with the barbs making it painful,” opined Vaibhav Mahindrakar, a wildlifer from Yavatmal district head quarter, a Tipeshwar regular. “The mother is more experienced and hence the assumption,” he explained displaying the photographs of the cubs which he shot on December 24 morning.

Mr. Mahindrakar and other visitors to the TWS saw the female cub limping apparently due to a left over injury. It could either be because of a part of the barb is still stuck in the paw or she has suffered a cut on it.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the management of the TWS has initiated measures to remove the quills off the body of the cubs. The measures includes tranquillisation of the cubs by expert veterenarians.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 7:21:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/tiger-cubs-get-rid-of-porcupine-quills/article30396668.ece

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