| One of tiger cubs before being rescued. Telegraph picture |
Jorhat, Dec. 15: Two Royal Bengal tiger cubs were rescued from a dry water tank in Angrim valley, a settlement near Dibang wildlife sanctuary in Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday, a delayed report said.
Residents reported to the forest department last month that four tiger cubs had been seen wandering in the area without their mother for nearly a month, occasionally lifting poultry from households.
“The cubs, about a year old, had been hunting mainly poultry and had made unsuccessful attempts at larger livestock. One of the cubs was reportedly injured,” Ipra Mekola, a member of the Arunachal Pradesh State Wildlife Advisory Board, said.
Subsequently, a team from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), led by Mekola, reached the site on December 6 to assist the forest department in tracking the cubs.
On December 11, the villagers found three cubs trapped in a dry water tank. They covered the tank with wooden planks and branches to prevent them from escaping till the rescue team arrived.
Two cubs, a male and a female, were healthy and successfully sedated and removed from the tank by WTI veterinarians Jahan Ahmed and Nupur Ranjan Buragohain.
The third cub, a female, was severely ill and died the next day. Post-mortem revealed pneumonia, starvation and hypoglycaemic shock as the cause of death. The status of the fourth cub is unknown.
The two rescued cubs will be moved to a mini zoo in Roing and kept under observation. Once healthy, efforts will be made to release them in the wild, P. Ringu, deputy conservator of forest (wildlife), Arunachal Pradesh, said .
Mekola said Dibang valley was a good tiger habitat and had the potential to be declared a tiger reserve. “This will benefit the wildlife and the people here,” he added.
He thanked the locals for their support, particularly village head Chipi Molo, who had filed the report on behalf of the village. Molo hosted the team at her home throughout the operation and helped crowd control during the rescue.