Tiger captured in Wayanad shifted to Thiruvananthapuram zoo

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tholpetty 17, the 10-year-old male tiger that was captured from Kenichira in Wayanad, was brought to the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo on Sunday. Dr Nikesh Kiran, the zoo veterinarian, told TNIE that the tiger is healthy. The animal will be kept in quarantine for 21 days at the zoo before it’s moved to its original enclosure. Animal Husbandry Minister J Chinchurani will officially name the tiger within the next few days.

The tiger was captured by South Wayanad forest sub-division authorities in Kenichira on June 23 after it strayed into human habitation. It had killed a few cattle there, which led the forest department officials to keep a trap to nab the tiger. Initially, the authorities had planned to transport the tiger to the Neyyar Lion Safari Park, which was abandoned. The forest department has a tiger rehabilitation centre at Kooppadi in Wayanad. But the officials decided the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo would be the ideal spot to shift the animal as it needed more medical examination. Currently, the zoo has two Royal Bengal tigers and two white tigers.

“A female tigress, Babitha, was brought to the zoo on March 22 from Wayanad. With the arrival of the new male tiger, the total count has gone to five. Once the new member completes the quarantine period, it will be shifted to the normal enclosure. I feel that the injuries to the male tiger might have happened during its skirmishes with other tigers while in the forest,” said Dr Nikesh.

He also added that a preliminary investigation has ruled out any grave medical issues for the tiger. But a clean chit on the health of the tiger will be given only after it completes the quarantine period. On arrival at the zoo on Sunday, the tiger was fed with 3 kg beef. From Monday, the tiger will be provided with 4 kg of beef. Usually, tigers captured from the forest will not be exhibited before the public. Initially, Babitha was also kept in a special enclosure. Following permission from the state government, Babitha has since been put in an enclosure where the public can see her.

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