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Tiger cub moved to 10,000 sq ft enclosure in Tamil Nadu to prep for life in the wild

Representational image. Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu where a tiger cub is being trained to be sent back to the wild (Pic. Courtesy atrpollachi.com)

For the first time in Tamil Nadu a unique rewilding initiative has been taken up under which a male tiger cub named ANM T56 (Anamalai Tiger) has been moved to an enclosure which is natural in its setting.

The cub, which is between 12 and 15 months old, is now in the enclosure at Anamalai Tiger Reserve’s Manthirimattam which is near Valparai. What makes this new home special is that it is spread over an area of 10,000 square feet and has a den and water pond and a green cloth is covering it.

The new home was built at a cost of Rs.75 lakhs and strictly follows the guidelines issued by the National Tiger Conservation Authority for rehabilitating the tiger to the wild. Following its relocation to the new premises, the cub is busy exploring it.

ANM T56 was rescued in September last year from Mudis Estate when he was eight months old from Mudis Estate near Valparai and he had sharp porcupine quills on his legs. His mother could not be located. He was kept in a spacious cage in a guest house at Manombolly forest range.

The cub’s samples and biometric measurements were taken before its release in the enclosure by a team of doctors and the permission for releasing was given by the Chief Wildlife Warden Abbas based on a recommendation from an eight-member committee whose members are from Wildlife Institute of India and NGOs.

While being kept in captivity, the cub’s weight increased to 144 kilograms. Steps will be taken to train the cub to hunt by placing live chicken and rabbits there. As per the Conservator of Forests and Field Director of ATR, S Ramasubramanian,it will take at least an year to release the cub in the wild.

The enclosure and the cub will be constantly monitored by a team of four members with the help of six single-side CCTV cameras and one 360 degree camera.

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