Poachers had killed the tigress and buried it in the forest after being spotted by forest officials.
Bhopal: In a first of its kind conservation move, a dummy tigress has been created by forest officers in Madhya Pradesh to save three cubs, orphaned by the death of their mother at a national park in the state recently.
“The dummy has literally been rearing the 40-day-old cubs. They are being fed with milk bottles fitted in the dummy. The big cat’s cubs have also accepted it as their mother,” Sanjay Gandhi National Park director Mudul Pathak said Monday.
“The measure has helped increase the survival chance of the felines by 80 per cent,” Mr Pathak said. While two of them have gained strength to take hard food such as meat, the third of the three siblings is still weak and survives on liquid food fed through the dummy.
The death of the female tiger, named T1, due to electrocution in Bandhavagarh Tiger Reserve in the state on January 21 had posed a challenge before the forest officials to save her three cubs. Poachers had killed the tigress and buried it in the forest after being spotted by forest officials.
Later, a post-mortem of the slain big cat revealed that she had delivered three cubs a few weeks before her death.
The park officials had then launched a search operation in the reserve forest to locate the cubs. Finally, the three cubs were found in a small cave in the forest. They are being reared in a temporary enclosure set.