Jorhat, Aug. 31: A female tiger cub, hand-raised at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) near Kaziranga National Park, is being transported to Nandan Van Zoo in Raipur, Chattisgarh, today.
This is the second time that a hand-raised tiger has been moved from the centre to outside Assam. Last year, a male adult tiger was transferred to Van Vihar Zoo in Bhopal.
A CWRC veterinarian said the 11-month-old cub is in good health and has become very popular among the centre’s staff because of its charismatic looks. “The cub is in good health and has been screened for diseases and parasites,” said Abhijit Bhawal, the CWRC veterinarian, who along with Reetika Maheshwari and Nupur Buragohain, hand-raised the cub.
The cub was found abandoned by forest guards of the Kaziranga while patrolling the Burapahar range of the park on October 21 last year.
The Assam forest department staff, assisted by International Fund for Animal Welfare-Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) staff, subsequently made several attempts to reunite the cub with its mother by keeping it in a makeshift shelter at the site where the cub was found.
Five cameras were deployed to record any movement of animals around the shelter where the cub was kept overnight. Though some tiger movements were recorded in the vicinity by the cameras, none was recorded near the makeshift cage.
As the cub was getting weak, it was shifted to the IFAW-WTI-run CWRC for hand-raising on October 26. WTI chief veterinarian N.V.K. Ashraf said the Raipur zoo had expressed its interest to have the tiger cub and they formally sent a letter through the Central Zoo Authority, following which the arrangement was made to transfer the cub.
The 2,100km journey from CWRC to Nandan Van Zoo, which started this afternoon, will be completed in four days. Rathin Barman, another WTI official, said the tiger has been confined in a specially designed cage and is on its way to Guwahati by road. “It will spend the night in Assam State Zoo and will be transported to Raipur by train,” Barman said.
Kishore Jadiya, veterinary officer of Nandan Van Zoo, said the cub would be loaded on a parcel van of the Saraighat Express tomorrow morning. The train will depart from Guwahati at noon. “Two forest guards and two animal keepers will be travelling along with the cub to ensure its safety,” he added.