Kurnool: 11-month-old tiger cub rescued, sibling dead

The whereabouts of the tigress were not known.

KURNOOL: An eleven-month-old tiger cub was tranquilised and rescued by forest officials while its sibling was found dead on Saturday near Velugodu in Kurnool district. The whereabouts of the tigress were not known, according to Atmakur divisional forest officer C. Selvam. Mr Selvam told this newspaper the dead cub was found in an agricultural field at about 6 am on Saturday. The other cub was tranquilised and rescued at 3 pm. The tigeress with her two cubs had strayed into an agriculture field near Jamminagar tanda in Velgode mandal of Kurnool district on Wednesday. A wood cutter who sighted the big cats informed forest officials.

The tanda is located near the Nagarjuna-sagar—Srisailam tiger reserve (NTSR), on the outskirts of Velgode town. Following the alert, local officials mobilised the tiger rescue team from Markapur, which is part of the NTSR, an expert each from the Venkateswara national park at Tirupati and Mysore, and Mr Imran Siddiqui, founder of the Hyderabad Tiger Coservation Society to helped the operations. The rescued cub was transported to the Sri Venkateswara National Park in Tirupati by a special vehicle.

A post-mortem was conducted on the body of the dead cub by a team of veterinary doctors brought from Mysore, and Tirupati. The body parts were examined including the possibility of poisoning, he added. Responding to a question about the missing tigress, Mr Selvam said that several possibilities including poaching could be attributed. He said that the poaching theory could be established only after examining the photographic feed from the camera traps. It could take another week to examine the footage, he said.

A wildlife expert said tigresses do not usually not abandon their cubs. This led to apprehensions that it could have been killed, or died due to poisoning. The Nagarjunasagar—Srisailam tiger reserve, the biggest in the country, has 41 adult tigers and a few cubs, as per the census carried out in 2016. A fresh census will be conducted in the third week of January, Mr Siddiqui said.

There are about 60 tigers in the adjacent Amrabad tiger reserve which falls in Telangana. Each tiger needs 11 square km of territory. It is said that due to the increase in numbers, the big cats from NTSR were migrating into the Amrabad reserve. Forest authorities have been receiving reports about sighting of tigers or are finding their pug marks from several places like Sri Lankamalleswara wild-life sanctuary in Kadapa, Seshachalam biosphere reserve located in Seshachalam hill ranges, which are a part of Eastern Ghats in Chittoor, Sri Venkateswara national park in Tirupati and at other places which are located in the Seshachalam and Nallamala forests.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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