Three tiger cubs safe in Nagarahole; make a kill

Three tiger cubs safe in Nagarahole; make a kill

November 17, 2022

CCTV cameras capture footage; mother Nayanjikatte Female was snared to death

Mysore/Mysuru: The three tiger cubs, whose mother was snared to death on the outskirts of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, have been tracked and found to be healthy and hunting on their own. CCTV cameras have captured their visuals of consuming a prey animal after dark.

Their mother, famous as Nayanjikatte Female, fell victim to a snare that was laid to capture wild boars near the Taraka Dam in the Antharasanthe Range of Nagarahole on Nov. 12. Soon after the carcass was recovered, Forest officers were worried that the cubs, eight to 10 months old, might die of starvation as they will not have the capacity to hunt on their own.

Over 30 CCTV cameras were placed in the area that was the territory of ‘Nayanjikatte Female’ and visuals of the cubs feeding on a spotted deer were captured in the cameras late on Tuesday. This apart, the Forest Department had assigned over 120 field staff for patrolling with a couple of elephants to comb the areas looking for the cubs and two drones were also commissioned for an aerial survey.

There was also a danger from other tigers if the cubs strayed into their territories. As an alternative, the Department was also preparing to shift the cubs to a rescue centre for them to grow further so that they could be sent back into the woods when they become able to hunt on their own.

Now that it has been established that the cubs can lead an independent life, the Department staff are relieved. In fact, the analysis of the CCTV footage establishes that the cubs had made the kill and returned later to feed on it. Following the opinion from wildlife experts, it has now been decided to leave the cubs in the wild but continuously monitor their situation.

“This is good news as there are indications that the cubs have hunted down a prey animal. Prey is aplenty including spotted deer and wild boar in the place where we found the cubs. They are estimated to be eight to 11 months old. If they further develop their hunting skills, the cubs will move to the core area of the forests and gradually establish their own territories. This is their natural process,” said C. Harshakumar, Project Tiger Director, Nagarahole.

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The cubs have shown their survival skills and they would need monitoring and protection for one year. Usually, a mother protects its cubs for over two years and later they lead an independent life. “Now we know that the cubs do not need any intervention. We will keep a distance from them and monitor their health. Intervention will be decided only if needed,” Harshakumar said.


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