AP forest dept to shift tiger cubs to zoo if mother rejects them

PTI | Andhrapradesh | Updated: 07-03-2023 18:56 IST | Created: 07-03-2023 18:56 IST
AP forest dept to shift tiger cubs to zoo if mother rejects them
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The Andhra Pradesh forest officials are making arrangements to shift the four tiger cubs found at Gummadapuram village of Nandyala district to a zoo in the event the mother doesn't turn up, an official said on Tuesday.

As 36 hours have lapsed since discovering the cubs, the officials are still in the process of reuniting them with the mother.

They have identified the litter to be an all-female one and are waiting for 48 hours to lapse to conclude that the mother has abandoned the cubs.

Four healthy tiger cubs were found in a house at Gummadapuram village on Monday and the forest department officials took them into their custody after receiving information.

''This operation will continue this evening also to see if there is a call from the mother. I believe in the morning we heard some roar. Morning hours are usually hectic with a lot of people moving around,'' said Shanti Priya Pandey, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wildlife (APCCF, WL).

The officials are planning to put the quartet in the vicinity of the tigress to see if it picks them up or not, even as the unique identification number of the tigress has been identified.

In the event, the mother does not own up its litter, Pandey said the department will follow the protocol laid down by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in handling orphaned or abandoned cubs.

She observed that the tigress has lost all the litter and explained that usually in the wild, out of a litter of four cubs, a couple may get abandoned or lost to predators while the mother may carry two with it.

Hence, the officials felt that the mother must be in panic and they are making all out efforts to reunite it with the cubs. But for the moment, they are making minimum human contact to ensure the mother takes them back.

In its probe to learn more about the mother, the forest department dug into its database and realised that the tigress was in gestation.

Meanwhile, the officials are feeding Royal Canin, a zero sugar feed usually given to canines in the zoos while some experts have also suggested feeding the cubs with a mix of goat milk and mashed chicken liver.

Other supplements such as ORS and water are also being fed to the cubs following zoo protocol to avert dehydration, which the cubs are taking orally. Pandey noted that sugar must not be fed to the cubs as they cannot process glucose like humans or domestic cats and dogs used to it. According to her, sugar is not fed for wild cats.

Tiger experts have estimated the age of the cubs to be three months, even as an NTCA nominee has joined the team. The officials are also discussing the situation with experts from other tiger reserves.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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