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A two-months-old tiger cub who was suffering from paralysis, and weak eyesight when a forest guards on patrol in Periyar National Park in Thekkady, Kerala found her.
The guards named the cub Mangala. She was abandoned by her mother. Once weak and hungry, Mangala is now recovering after receiving care from forest officials and veterinarian.
Last year in November, a forest patrol team spotted a tiger cub crying for help in the jungles near the Mangaladevi temple at Thekkady. The forest staff realised that she would die if left alone without any help.The Periyar East division forest deputy director Sunil Babu also stepped in to help the ailing cub. He asked three veterinarians, to take care of the cub and bring it back to life.
The veterinarians gave Mangala physiotherapy to revive her legs and fed her supplements to help her gain strength. After receiving the care, the cub has gained strength in its hind legs. She currently weighs 7.5kg.
"We want to help Mangala adapt to the wild when she returns. So we are grooming her in a proper forest atmosphere, away from humans. Only the doctor and two forest guards visit her," Sunil Babu told The New Indian Express.
The official also shared that it is for the first time in India that a tiger cub rescued from the wild was being treated and groomed.
He also informed that only authorised persons have access to her shelter. Further, he added that she will be released into a protected enclosure, where she will be trained to hunt.
The veterinarian, Dr Anurag, who is presently attending the cub, says that the work to establish a special enclosure in the forest for Mangala has already begun.
The special enclosure will have a pool, a shelter to rest in, and enough space for her to move around so that she gets used to staying in the wild. He said that they are also making Mangala perform daily exercises so that her legs could be rejuvenated.
Anurag said that she also has a tiger toy to play with. He added that she will have to be shifted to the enclosure once she turns six months old.
The range officer Akhil Babu shared that it is common for wild animals to abandon disabled cubs.
The officer said that if Mangala gets attached to humans, she will tend to live near human habitations even after being released. According to the forest officer, this will be a problematic situation for her in future. The tiger cub is getting training her as per the guidelines of the National Tiger Foundation, informed the officer.
At present, the Forest department is planning to develop a 100-hectare enclosure in the Periyar sanctuary, where rescued animals will be released. Mangala will be the first tiger cub to learn hunting in the enclosure.
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