Chennai, May 27 (BPNS)
The Tamil Nadu forest department is to build a 4-hectare natural enclosure for rewilding a two-year-old orphaned tiger cub. The estimated cost of the four-hectare natural habitat is around 3.5 crore rupees, sources in the Tamil Nadu forest department told BPNS.
The natural habitat is coming up in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) for the 2-year-old cub orphaned tiger which was rescued from a tea estate premises in Valparai.
It is to be noted that the tiger cub is presently housed in a 10,000 square feet enclosure in the Mandhirimattam area of the Manambolly forest range of Anamalai Tiger Reserve.
Senior officers of the forest department who does not want to be named told BPNS that the tiger cub is currently weighing 140 kg and is in perfect shape. The natural habitat is being made for the big cat to make it readied for hunting in the wild and gradually relocate it in deep forest.
The officials told IANS that the animal was now displaying age-related attributes of a wild tiger like crouching, claw scratching, and territory marking, and added that this shows that the animal was shaping up well in its natural instincts.
Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Forests and Climate Change Department told IANS that the Tamil Nadu forest department was taking proper inputs from wildlife biologists and scientists of the Wild Life Institute of India and according to the procedures laid down by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in bringing up orphaned tiger cubs.
Tamil Nadu forest officials also told BPNS that senior wild life biologist from the Wild Life Institute of India ,Dr.K. Ramesh will be reaching the Anamalai Tiger Reserve. It is to be noted that Dr. Ramesh is a renowned Wild Life biologist and had overseen the rewilding operations of tiger cubs in Madhya Pradesh.
Presently the tiger cub is fed 6-8 kg of meat every day and with varied timings and is made to starve once a week. The tiger cub had undergone dental surgery and has now perfectly recovered. It is being provided live chicken, rabbits, and wild boar to help it in its hunting prowess and being prepared for the rewilding process.