Mumbai: Tigress Avni (T1's) cub gets a home in Pench

Updated: Dec 24, 2018, 09:21 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Team finally rescues one female cub with the help of elephants; search on for second

The female cub after it was rescued on Saturday afternoon. (Right) Sunil Limaye with one of the elephants that was part of the operation
The female cub after it was rescued on Saturday afternoon. (Right) Sunil Limaye with one of the elephants that was part of the operation

Four days after the operation to rescue the two cubs of tigress T1 first began on a forested patch in Loni village near Pandharkawda, the team involving an expert veterinarian from Madhya Pradesh and four elephants, was finally successful in getting hold of one of them, on Saturday afternoon. The female cub has been safely rescued and taken to Pench, said Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (APCCF) Sunil Limaye."

"The cub was rescued with the help of veterinarian Dr Akhilesh Mishra from MP, Dr Parag Nigam, Dr Sandip Gupta, Dr Chetan Patond, Dr Ankush Dubey, Dr Bilal Habib and the four elephants. Dr Mishra was successful in darting the cub. The preliminary medical examination of the cub has been conducted; it is healthy and weighs around 80 kg," said Limaye. The terrain in Compartment No. 655 near Loni village, where the search operations are being conducted, has been a challenging one for the Maharashtra forest department and the experts.

The area near Loni village, where the cubs were found roaming, was fenced in order to ensure they don't strayThe area near Loni village, where the cubs were found roaming, was fenced in order to ensure they don't stray

In the last three to four weeks, the forest department had been closely monitoring the movement of the cubs using camera traps and direct/indirect evidences. The department did not want the cubs to leave the area they were roaming and so, all precautions were taken to make sure that the cubs get localised; baits were also placed for the same reason. Given the difficult demographic of the area, the forest department prepared a plan based on the suggestions given by the experts and erected a 10-foot-high fence surrounding the 54-hectare area.

Dr Mishra along with the four elephants started the operation on Saturday morning, around 11 AM and it ended four hours later. "The cub is active and healthy; during the rescue operation, the female cub even mock charged on one of the elephants. It has been sent to the facility at Pench and we are hopeful that the male cub will be rescued soon," said Limaye. "Involving elephants in the operation of rescuing the cubs has been a positive step."

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