Mangala, an abandoned tiger cub, will be released into the forest when it turns two.
As a rule, animals in wildlife sanctuaries are not given names. An Indian state has broken the rule for once. They christened a female tiger cub at the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR). The cub was abandoned by its mother. This happened in the forest on the border with Tamil Nadu last year.
The PTR staff had found it in an terrible state. A temporary shelter was set up near the place it was found. Two vets monitored it constantly. Once the cub was healthy enough again, it was named Mangala.
PTR deputy director Sunul Babu said the cub was found near the remains of Mangala Devi Temple. Hence the name.
Authorities tried to trace its mother. The search was extended to Tamil Nadu. Camera traps were set up. But nothing came of it. A Forest Department official said that either the mother was dead. Or it must have left with other cubs to the deep forest. Leaving the weak one behind. Nature can be cruel.
The full article was published by The Hindu on April 11, 2021.