Hingalganj tiger critical, brought to Alipore
17 Mar 2009, 0318 hrs IST, Prithvijit Mitra, TNN
KOLKATA: The condition of the tiger that was tranquillized at Hingalganj in Sunderbans on Saturday, remained critical on Monday. With a festering wound on its right hind leg, the big cat was brought to the Alipur Veterinary Hospital early on Monday morning. According to veterinarians at the hospital, it might take a long time for the animal to recover and it would be difficult for it to return to the wild.
This is the second time in a year that a Sunderbans tiger has been found with a mysterious injury to a leg. In February 2008, one such straying tiger was trapped in Jharkhali. It recovered and is now in the Khayrabari rehabilitation centre.
The 15-year-old male that strayed into Hingalganj late on Friday evening and killed six cows was limping on a bloodied paw. Villagers locked it in a cowshed, fenced off the area with bamboo sticks and informed forest staff. It was tranquilized and taken to Sajnekhali for treatment. But doctors felt it was not fit to be released for its wound had got infected.
"It is not being able to move because of the leg injury. It is on medication and we can't say how soon it could recover. But it will definitely survive," said Subir Choudhury, director of Alipore zoo.
The tiger is on a normal diet. It had five kilos of buffalo meat on Monday morning. But it remained drowsy and barely moved. "The tiger is groggy partly due to the infection and partly because of medicines. We don't think the injury could be fatal," said Choudhury.
"The injury is serious but treatment has started. We will take a decision on releasing it only after it is fully cured," said Subrat Mukherjee, field director, Sundarban Tiger Reserve.