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Tiger cub rescued in A.P.

The Hindu
New Delhi
19 Dec 2017

Shifted to Tirupati zoo; presence outside reserve hints at increase in population

A 13-month tiger cub has been rescued by the forest department from the fringes of the Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Forest Range at the Velugodu forest range in Kurnool district.

The cub was rescued at the end of a long-drawn and intense operation led by senior officers spanning close to 48 hours in the rugged jungle terrain of the Nallamalla hills in the intervening night of Saturday. The forest personnel found the carcass of another cub, believed to be its sibling, at the dense patch of the forest.

The cub, likely to have been abandoned by its mother, has been quarantined and is under observation at the Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park in Tirupati. A post-mortem report of the carcass revealed the cause of the death as multi-organ failure.

The rescue operation followed information by Velugodu villagers. The Forest department personnel set up infrared camera traps and the photos revealed the movement of the cubs in the agricultural fields abutting the forest.

A team of 150 had been deployed in the massive operation in which the personnel of the Atmakur forest division had deployed earth movers and tractors. The officers used tranquillising guns to incapacitate the cub.

“It is very unusual for the cubs to stray outside the forest ranges. Prima facie, we believe that they were abandoned by their mother. December-February is the mating season of tigers. But we are not ruling out other possibilities and a detailed investigation is on,’’ said a senior official.

The presence outside the reserve could hint at the increase in tiger population. Though the Gundla Brahmeswara (GBM) sanctuary is also home to a sizeable number, it is still an extended core area of the Srisailam Tiger Reserve.

The sanctuary can be declared as a separate reserve as it has a large area and requires more attention.

The Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve spreads over 3,568 square km and is the biggest of its kind in the country.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tiger-cub-rescued-in-kurnool-district/article21887187.ece