Mauled tiger cub dies in Nagpur despite rare rescue efforts

November 18th, 2008 - 10:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Nagpur, Nov 18 (IANS) A savagely mauled tiger cub’s 15-day battle for life ended Tuesday in the Maharajbagh zoo here despite unprecedented efforts by veterinary doctors, forest authorities and wildlife enthusiasts to save it.Jui, the seven-month-old female cub, was beaten up by villagers in a forest in north Bramhapuri forest range of Chandrapur district in Maharashtra along with her sibling over a fortnight ago.

While her sibling has survived the ordeal, Jui succumbed to her injuries Tuesday morning. She was given blood transfusion Sunday night after which she had shown some signs of improvement.

The blood, taken out from a white tiger and a tigress in Mumbai’s Borivali National Park for transfusion, was brought by the park’s vet Vinaya Jangle, accompanied by a forest officer, by air in a rare last-ditch effort to save the tiger cub.

The unprecedented ‘operation salvage’ was ordered by the state’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) B. Majumdar.

A team of experts from the Nagpur Veterinary College comprising N.P. Dakshinkar, Vinod Dhoot and Shirish Upadhye supervised the blood transfusion Sunday night and monitored the cub’s health with assistance from zoo in-charge S.S. Bawaskar and Jangle.

The vets reported significant improvement in Jui’s health, raising hopes of her survival among wildlife lovers whose attention was rivetted on the critically ill cub. Jui, however, breathed her last Tuesday morning.

Mendki village residents’ assault on the two tiger cubs, sequestered from their mother, too was a rare case of ‘reprisal’ for umpteen cases of tiger and leopard attacks on humans and their cattle living in a cluster of villages in the north Bramhapuri forest range.

The cubs, perhaps hungry and thirsty, were spotted by a group of villagers sometime in early November on the forest fringes. Their mother was nowhere in sight. Conservationists surmise that the mother must have been killed by poachers earlier as tigers never leave their cubs unprotected.

Calling out to others to join them for ‘revenge killing’, the villagers first encircled the cubs and pelted them with stones and then beat them up with sticks.

Spotting the mauled twins writhing in pain during their forest trek Nov 3, wildlife enthusiast Harshvardhan Dhanwatey and his wife Poonam alerted the forest officers in the area and brought the cubs to Nagpur with their help.

Vets immediately attended to the cubs, one of whom was in a relatively better condition.

In case of Jui, it proved to be a lost battle though, while the other cub is completely out of danger, Bawaskar told IANS.

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