Re-Wilding Of Abandoned Or Injured Animals Under The Lens.:
The recent attempt of Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) to reintroduce into the wild an abandoned nine-month-old cub named Mangala after rearing it in ‘captivity’ for two years has once again brought the controversial concept of ‘re-wilding’ of abandoned or injured animals under the lens.
- As per the Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines laid down by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) under Section 38(O) of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, there are three ways to deal with orphaned or abandoned tiger cubs.
- The first is to make an effort to reunite the abandoned cubs with their mother.
- Second, if a reunion of the cub with its mother is not possible, then shift the cub to a suitable zoo.
- Third, reintroduction of the cub into the wild after a certain time when it appears that the cub is capable of surviving in the wild independently. This is what is known as ‘re-wilding’.
- NTCA stresses that the tiger cub should be reared in an in situ enclosure for a minimum of two years, and during this time, each cub should have a successful record of at least 50 ‘kills’.