From hand-raised to near-wild habitat, it is a big moment for Vivek-the tiger who was rescued and hand-raised in Assam and is now set to make Bhopal’s Van Vihar National Park his new home.
Vivek is an adult male tiger being moved to Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh after it spent more than three years in the care of volunteers at CWRC, Assam.
In 2007, the tiger cub was found poisoned in a tea garden in Assam, along with its sibling which was already dead and with no trace of the mother. The cub which was in a serious condition was then only 6 months old and was rescued by IFAW-WTI veterinarians and Assam Forest Department. With Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) in Assam providing intensive care, the tiger slowly recovered. It was still held in confinement. Their effort of nurturing the animal has now paid off as Vivek now is an adult and ready to take on the journey to its designated near-wild habitat.
Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal is a modern Zoo with near natural conditions for animals and prides of biggest large mammal enclosures. With an area of 445 hectares, it is a notified protected area recognized by Central zoo authority (CZA).
The chief veterinarian of wildlife trust of India (WTI), Dr.NVK Ashraf said “CWRC’s priority while attending to any animal is to rehabilitate it in the wild. However, rehabilitation protocol for hand-raised big cats like the tiger has not yet been formalized.”
Van Vihar National Park is also a breeding centre for tigers, recognized by the CZA, and with an aim of contributing to the gene pool, a decision on shifting the tiger to the zoo was arrived at, he added.
Vivek will be travelling a distance of 2012 Km from CWRC to Van Vihar with an estimated time of 4 days. The tiger has two veterinarians and two animal keepers for company who ensure a safe journey.
Project leader of CWRC and Director of Kaziranga National Park, Mr.Surajit Dutta said “This is the first time that a tiger is being moved from CWRC outside Assam. The team has made all necessary arrangements to ensure that the stress on the tiger is minimal, and it reaches Van Vihar safe and sound. I wish them luck.”
The tiger is housed in a specially- designed crate mounted on a truck, to be taken by raod. The journey will be mostly during nights with pre-determined stop overs for resting the animal during day, said Dr.Rathin Barman, the WTI coordinator and CWRC in charge who is overseeing the safe transit of the tiger. The truck is also equipped with temperature moderation facility when needed.
India’s Endangered wishes Vivek a happy journey and an even happier life at Van Vihar.
– Guest Writer
Article and image source: WTI