Two of the three tiger cubs who were being reared with the help of a ‘dummy toy tigress mother’ at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve after they lost their mother, have died from Parvovirus infection, according to state forest officials. With this, the state has lost four tigers in the last three days and 10 this year.
Bandhavgarh Tiger reserve field director Mridul Pathak told HT that one tiger cub died on Saturday night while the other died on Sunday. “The condition of the third tiger cub is also critical. Four veterinary doctors are trying their best,” he said.
Pathak said the cubs were diagnosed with Parvoviral infection on April 12, following which they were being treated under the intensive care of a team of veterinary doctors here. “The Parvovirus weakens the muscles of the heart. The post mortem of the two cubs showed they died from heart collapse as the virus had severely affected the capacity of their heart muscles”, he said.
Pathak said the three cubs were brought to Bandhavgarh on January 22 this year after their mother died due to electrocution in the buffer zone of Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve in mid-January.
“As they were very young, we experimented with a dummy toy tigress mother to rear them. The toy tigress had been fitted with artificial nipples and a milk bottle to feed the tiger cubs. It was working”, he said.
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, located between the Vindhyan and Satpura ranges in Umaria district, has one of the highest tiger densities in the country, with 85 adult tigers and fourty plus cubs.
According to the last tiger census conducted in January 2015, tiger numbers in MP had increased from 257 in 2010 to 308 in 2015.
However since January 2015, 51 tigers have died in MP.