Dummy mummy aids cubs' recovery

The tiger cubs, found in critical condition after the death of their mother, have been feeding from milk bottles fitted inside the toy tigress.
The tiger cubs, found in critical condition after the death of their mother, have been feeding from milk bottles fitted inside the toy tigress.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW DELHI • Park rangers in India are using a cuddly toy tigress to help three traumatised cubs spring back to their feet after the death of their mother.

The cubs, who were orphaned last month, have been happily feeding from milk bottles fitted inside the toy, said Mr Mridul Pathak, field director at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

Forest rangers have also built a special enclosure for the cubs inside their compound using twigs, grass and sand to mimic their natural habitat.

The cubs were found in a critical condition not long after the body of their mother was discovered near a river last month.

India is home to more than half of the world's tiger population, with more than 2,200 roaming its reserves, according to the most recent census in 2014.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2017, with the headline 'Dummy mummy aids cubs' recovery'. Print Edition | Subscribe