Check 2013 update| 2015 update

For the last few years Chandrapur district has been abuzz with a lot of Big Cat news. There was a significant increase in the man-animal conflict cases and unfortunately the outcome in most was devastating. Apart from this a lot of young animals were found deserted or orphaned due to poaching activities, deforestation and anthropogenic pressure.

It started with 2 severely malnutrition ed tiger cubs being found near village Mendki. Despite being treated by the best of vets, one of them died after 17 days. Soon after, another 3 newborn cubs were found near Junona, followed by 2 leopard cubs and then another 3 tiger cubs were discovered near Ganeshpipri. Every time, the cubs were promptly shifted to local zoo. Though this action was in the best interest of the animals and certainly increased their chance of survival, we feel, this is not conservation in the real sense. Conservation, rightly means conserving animal in their natural habitat or conserving bio-diversity.

The last three cubs found in 2009, were caught by the forest department as they had ventured inside the villages. The first one was rescued by the department after it was cornered by some villagers on 17th Sept 2009, when she entered a cattle shed at village Sukhwasi. She was too weak to make a kill and for that matter even hurt any human.

On 19th Sept, the second female cub was spotted and rescued, just outside village Ganesh Pipri. Massive combing operation was started to locate their mother, but she was nowhere to be seen. Instead a third cub was spotted on 23rd Sept, near Talodhi village.

The cubs were hungry and weak, suggesting that the mother had been missing since sometime. They were shifted to Zaran Forest Nursery for medical attention, though destined to go to some zoo later.

Information indicated that they were old enough to hunt and had a fair chance of survival if relocated into the wild. Proper steps had to be taken to put this plan into action and on Srushti's suggestion the forest department agreed to move the cubs to a rehab centre, later to be released into the wild. Srushti offered to help and was entrusted with the task of managing and funding the project. Enclosures, water bodies inside it, arrangement of feed, medicines, routine vet and pathological check up, visits etc were to be funded and managed by Srushti.

Presently, the cubs are kept in a huge enclosure deep inside a forest area, away from human interaction. They are monitored round the clock. Erratic feeding schedules are maintained similar to as in wild. According to tiger experts and medical study, the cubs are approx 20 months old now and in some time, they should be released in the wild.

The aim is to bring up these cubs in natural surroundings, under protection with minimum human interference, till they are fit enough to fend for themselves and to then finally release them into the forest, after a recommended by wildlife experts. The first step is being successfully achieved and the cubs are being raised in a monitored environment.

The second step would be to release them into a suitable habitat and then monitor their further development. The release procedures would be followed according to NTCA guidelines, with the help of WII (Wildlife Institute of India). Wildlife experts, biologists, veterinarians will advise, as to when the cubs can be released. Similarly a suitable habitat according to water availability, prey-base, anthropogenic threats etc, would be identified by wildlife researchers. Post release experts will study their behavior and track their movement using radio telemetry.

2013 Update : The project is right now in a very desirable yet critical stage. Raising these cubs has been a big task for us and we are continuously working hard to fulfill the given responsibility.

Also the government, finally approved and granted funds for the bigger enclosure and the work is also comeplete. A huge facility is being built deep inside Pench Tiger Reserve, where these animals would be shifted. This is second stage of the project and cubs here would be ranging in bigger space and learning the traits of survival.

One of the cubs, post release in bigger enclosure

The cubs were finally shifted to the bigger enclosure and are showing promising progress. The Maharashtra Forest Department in general and particularly Field Director & Staff of Pech Tiger Reserve are working really hard on this project.

Darted out like an arrow, she disappeared in the forest inside the enclsure.

The tiger cubs are now completely fed on wild prey diet and that is a big step forward in the project.


2015 Update : The Hon. Union Minister, Shri Prakash Javdekar, personally looked into the matter and has asked the NTCA to give necessary clearences, to release one of the tigress in wild. Things are now being worked on war footings to prepare for the release.

One of the individual tigress, selected by the 3 member committee of NTCA, has ben fitted with Radio Telemetry Collar, with GPS transmiter and would be released in a few days time.

One tigress was soft-released in Pench Tiger Reserve area and is being activily monitored by specially trained monitoring teams 24x7.


campaign for wildlife

Srushti has constructed Stone masonry dams inside Bor sanctuary to arrest water flow on smaller streams. This has increased the water table in local area. To know more about this project. [click here]

Campaign against Adani Power Ltd. at Lohara, near Chandrapur
Coal Mining by Adani Pwer

Srushti Paryavaran Mandal took the initiative & was instrumental in form a platform “Ekjoot” which successfully lobbied against a proposed coal mining project near Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. To know more about the campaign [click here]


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