Kochi: A very weak 60 day old tiger cub has been rescued from near a temple on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border and efforts are on to nurse it back to health as it could not even stand now, forest department officials said on Saturday.
The cub was suspected to have been abandoned by its mother, but officials spotted the tigress lurking around the Mangala Devi shrine in Periyar Tiger Reserve, nearly a week after it was rescued on November 21.
"She was definitely in search of her cub", a senior wildlife officer said.
Officials believe the cub was left alone in the wild when the tigress engaged in a fierce internecine combat of tigers in the forest.
"I am told by our field officers that the tigress was spotted near the temple on Thursday. Now our effort is to see their reunion," Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden, Surendrakumar, told PTI.
He said two wildlife doctors have been deployed to save the cub, which was still very weak.
"We are doing our best," Surendrakumar said.
Asked about its health, he said they were keeping their fingers crossed and hoping for the best.
The rescuers said the cub, besides being very weak when it was found, was also affected by the cold weather.
It could hardly stand and if left abandoned, could have died, they said.
The officials said the cub would be released into the forest to join its mother as and when its health gets better.
All Standard Operating Procedures of the National Tiger Conservation Authority were followed in rescue and the ongoing treatment of the tiger cub, they said.