Cub rescued from Madhya Pradesh well as mother tigress stands guard

Hindustan Times

An eight-month old cub that fell into a 30-foot deep well in Katni district on Monday night was rescued by an expert team from the Mukundpur Tiger Safari in Madhya Pradesh late on Tuesday afternoon, a forest department official said.

Local forest officials could not carry out the rescue operation till afternoon as the cub's mother was moving around the same area, guarding the cub, the official added on condition of anonymity.

The cub, weighing around 63 kg was then taken for a medical check-up. After the medical check-up, the cub will be released in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Umaria district of the state, Rajesh Kumar, a Mukundpur Tiger Safari official said.

At eight months, a tiger cub can usually hunt along with its mother. Tiger cubs stay with their mother till they are two-and-half years old. They can hunt on their own by the time they are 18-months old.

Madhya Pradesh has the most number of tigers in India according to the latest tiger count -- 526 of a total of 2967. The state's tiger population saw an increase of 218 since the last survey in 2014.

'The movement of a tigress with her four cubs was reported in Barhi forest range of the district. A shepherd heard the roaring of the cub (from the well) at around 6am on Tuesday. The shepherd also saw the tigress and one of her cubs in the area. He called the villagers, and later they informed the forest officials and police at around 7-8 AM,' said Rajesh Rai, divisional forest officer (DFO), Katni.

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