India to give guidelines on rearing abandoned tiger cubs
May 29, 2013
Tiger experts in India are creating their first guidelines which direct tiger reserve officials on how to look after orphaned tiger cubs to increase their chances of survival.
Orphaned tiger cubs are found when their mothers have been killed by poachers or if their mother has deserted her cubs. These new guidelines will tackle a rising problem where officials do not have the skills or knowledge on how to look after these wild cubs.
“Most of the times, the cubs end up in zoos where they are kept in captivity away from their natural habitat” states an anonymous environment ministry official.
The draft guidelines have been given to tiger experts and field officers for feedback before it is given out.
“A mother teaches cubs hunting and how to survive in the wild. But with the mother gone, we have to initially train them in everything -- but keeping in mind that they don't become human friendly lest they start venturing into human habitation,” the official said.
Every cub needs to be correctly looked after so that they do not become reliant on humans and have a chance of being successfully released back into the wild.
India is home to the world's largest tiger population, with around 1,700 living in the wild across 42 tiger reserves. A large proportion of the 3,200 wild tigers left on earth.
There has been recent success in Russia with the reintroduction of orphaned cub Cinderella. TigerTime hopes these guidelines will create even more triumphs in the reintroduction of cubs into the wild in India.
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Photo Credit: Michael Vickers www.tigersintheforest.com
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