|The cub was tranquilised at 2.50 am on Monday morning and kept under intensive care in Kishanpur Wildlife Santuary|
Dudhwa (Uttar Pradesh), February 25, 2013: A female tiger cub was saved from a leg-hold trap yesterday in the buffer area of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, highlighting once again the threats posed by snares and traps to wildlife in the country.
The cub, about six-month-old, was caught in the front left paw in Malani range of South Kheri Forest Division. She had two of her toes crushed, said Prem Chandra Pandey, Wildlife Trust of India’s (WTI) Field Officer, who, along with veterinarian Dr Saurabh Singhai, assisted the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department authorities in the rescue.
The WTI team was informed at 8 pm on Sunday, and rushed to the spot, around 50 km from Dudhwa. Under the guidance of the Forest Department officials, the cub was tranquilised around 2:50 am, freed and kept under intensive care. She was dehydrated and extremely weak then, but her condition has stabilised.
“Forest Department officials have been scouting the area for more leg traps to make sure other animals don’t face a similar fate,” said Dr Anil Kumar Singh, Regional Head, WTI. “They are also on the lookout for the cub’s mother, to attempt reunion. But it takes a lot of research and planning before we can release such displaced cubs back into the wild”.
Dr Singh added that this was the second incident of a big cat getting trapped in the area. In July 2010, the Forest Department assisted by WTI rescued a leopard that got caught in a trap in Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary. The leopard was released following treatment.
|The cub was caught in an iron leg-trap left by unidentified poachers|
WTI, supported by Aircel Limited, runs the UP Carnivore Conservation Project in the state to save tigers and leopards from conflict situations. WTI has been highlighting snares and traps as a silent yet deadly threat to wildlife across the country, and runs anti-snare projects in south India to clear the forests of this ‘menace’.
“Buffer areas and forests outside PAs are particularly vulnerable, as poachers set these traps along animal paths. As we can see, even tigers and leopards fall victims to these. They may end up losing their limbs or die of starvation and bleeding,” added Dr Singh.