A 14-month-old tiger, rescued as an injured cub six months ago, will be sent back into the jungle from the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Pollachi in western Tamil Nadu.
Yesterday, the tiger was transferred to a 10,000 sq ft open enclosure for rehabilitation into the wild.
“It has a cave and a water pond to give a feel of a jungle. The tiger was fed beef earlier. Now it would have live animals like rabbits and others so it can hunt its own food,” Ms Supriya Sahu, Forests Secretary of Tamil Nadu, told NDTV.
Authorities hope that when the tiger would turn two-and-a-half years old, it would be ready to move from this enclosure to the wild.
“Moving the tiger to a zoo isn’t a good idea. The aim is to send it back into the wild. This is a good strategy that is also good for tiger conservation,” Ms Sahu added.
The cub was attacked by a porcupine and found injured at a tea estate after which it got separated from its mother. Forest officials rescued it during their patrol.
“We don’t want to take everything into our hands. We want a scientific management,” explained Ms Sahu.
“We are working closely with The National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wild Life Institute of India,” she added.
Dr Ramesh, a scientist from WLII, personally monitored the transfer.
Last year. the Tamil Nadu government had a similar success story with regards to a 35-year-old elephant named Rivaldo kept under captivity for nearly three months.
Around ten years ago, four inches of its trunk was cut off after he was trapped on a snare. Though he did not attack anyone the wild elephant was made captive in a kraal following demands after a wall collapse incident.
However, after a scientific consultation with experts, the elephant was let off into the wild with a radio collar that tracks its movement.
On World Elephant Day, Chief Minister MK Stalin praised the Forest Department for rehabilitating animals.
“Let’s commit ourselves to conserve elephants and end their captivation and exploitation. Ensuring the majestic animal’s dignity is the duty of humankind,” he tweeted.