Tiger-24 (also T-24) has refused to feed on dead meat in the captivity of Udaipur biological park, forcing the wildlife authorities to try a ‘live bait’ to avoid complications out of a possible prolonged starvation.
The eight-year-old tiger, nicknamed Ustad, has said to have killed four humans. He was shifted from Ranthambhore National Park to the Sajjangarh Biological Park in Udaipur on Saturday. The shifting was carried out secretively after the accusations that the Ustad had killed two forest department employees too.
The park authorities provided buffalo meat to him but he did not touch it till Sunday evening, official sources said.
As the tiger has refused to eat meat in captivity, the authorities may have to try live bait. “We will discuss it with the senior officials and explore the possibility of a live bait,” said deputy chief wildlife warden Udaipur T Mohan Raj.
The tiger was tranquilised at about 10:30 am in Ranthambhore. He reached Sajjangarh Park at 11:30 pm, travelling a distance of more than 530 kilometres. The long travel distance and sudden shift from the forest to captivity are being cited as the reasons for the change in the tiger’s behaviour.
“There is usually a three-week quarantine period for any wild animal to settle down. Live bait will be necessary for this tiger as it has come from the wilderness. It also needs least human disturbance to acclimatise,” said senior veterinarian at Jaipur zoo Arvind Mathur.
Condemning the move, former forest minister Bina Kak said, "It is very unfortunate. The shifting has taken place without transparency. The absence of T-24 is a threat to his son Sultan and two cubs of tigress T-39, fathered by him and protected by them from other big cats."
Ustad faces a threat in Sajjangarh as a seven-year-old male tiger died of infectious disease Leptospirosis on April 10 this year.
The tiger was shifted on March 7 from Bannerghatta National Park in Bengaluru and was diagnosed with the disease on March 25 in Sajjangarh.