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Tigress delivers 4 cubs in Nagpur, kills them

According to the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (FDCM) which runs the rescue centre, the eight-year-old tigress, Lee, delivered four cubs – three female and a male – on February 23, but killed all of them shortly after

mumbai Updated: Feb 26, 2018 22:13 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times
Tigress,Maharashtra,Nagpur
According to Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd officials, injuries were found in the brains and necks of the cubs.(Pic for representation)

A tigress at a wildlife rescue centre in Nagpur killed its four cubs shortly after giving birth to them.

According to the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (FDCM) which runs the rescue centre, the eight-year-old tigress, Lee, delivered four cubs – three female and a male – on February 23, but killed all of them shortly after.

The local wildlife rescue centre officials said Lee was brought to the rescue centre from the local Maharajbagh Zoo in July 2017 for breeding with a tiger called Sahebrao. Lee mated with Sahebrao three months ago and her delivery was expected in the last week of February, officials said. The rescue centre employees were eagerly waiting for the delivery and could not imagine that the tigress would kill the cubs. “We found injuries in the brains and necks of the cubs. This might have led to their death,” said Umesh Agrawal, managing director, FDCM.

Agrawal said a team of four veterinarians performed the post mortem of the cubs. According to the report, two cubs died as their spinal cords got dislocated. One suffered a lung puncture and another suffered a stomach injury while being lifted by the mother.

Agrawal felt that the deaths were caused by poor maternal care. Internal organs of the cubs must have been damaged owing to excessive pressure, which indicates the mother was unable to take proper care, he said.

The FDCM officials tried to save them by feeding milk but were unable to do so. FDCM officials documented the delivery of the cubs to their deaths in a video. Being a caged tigress, Lee might not have developed natural instincts of a wild tigress to handle the cubs. The four cubs were cremated on Saturday evening at Gorewada.

Man-eater tigress delivers two cubs

Meanwhile, the man-eater tigress from neighbouring Yavatmal forest that has allegedly killed 10 villagers and against whom shooting orders have been issued by the wildlife wing of the state, delivered two cubs. The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court stayed the order for killing of the tigress.

The Yavatmal forest employees have seen the tigress along with her two cubs on February 16. The tigress and her cubs were also caught on the camera, fixed by the forest department in different parts of the jungle to monitor her movement.

First Published: Feb 26, 2018 22:10 IST