One of the two cubs of tigress T1, who was shot dead last month in Yavatmal district, has been caught. In an operation conducted by the Madhya Pradesh special team Saturday, the female cub was captured and sent to Pench Tiger Reserve for rehabilitation.
“The Madhya Pradesh special team, which was called for the operation, carried out the operation at around 3 pm on Saturday. She was tranquilised after being cornered with the help of four elephants. She was later revived and has been sent to Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) as per the rehabilitation plan,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) A K Mishra. “The team will resume the operation to catch the other cub, the male, tomorrow,” he added.
“We had readied the enclosure in Pench with refurbishment and strengthening of joints. The cubs will be trained in re-wilding in the enclosure,” Mishra said.
The forest department has been trying to capture the cubs of the man-eating tigress, nicknamed Avni, since her controversial killing in November.
As per earlier reports, the cubs were restricted in a chain-link fence in an area of around 80 hectare. But the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Sunil Limaye said that to track the cubs a smaller enclosure was created inside the chain-link fence.
He said: “We had to create a smaller enclosure within the 80 hectare chain-link fence since the area was too large to track the cubs. It was a challenge to quickly fix the compartmental chain-link fence when the two large cubs were moving inside. But we managed to do that in a race against time.”
Asked if the cubs would be radio-collared, Limaye said: “No. We have to follow the procedure laid down by the National Tiger Conservation Authority where we will set up a committee that will finally decide the future for the cubs. Till then they will remain in the Pench enclosure.”
The female cub weighed around 80 kg, and according to sources both the cubs were some distance apart when the darting was done.
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