Veterinarians treat tiger for canine teeth loss during re-wilding
COIMBATORE: A team of expert veterinarians on Monday treated a sub adult tiger ‘ANM T56,’ which lost its upper canine teeth during the process of re-wilding in Valparai.
“As the canine teeth had fallen off, the cavity was cleaned and bio-dentine was filled in it. The tiger was taken to Manombolly from its natural enclosure to ensure power availability to operate anesthetic equipment during the procedure. Near the enclosure at Manthiramattam there is no power arrangement,” said Srinivas Ramachandra Reddy, Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) cum Chief Wildlife Warden (CWC).
“The upper canine tooth of the tiger was already cracked. So, it eventually broke and fell off. After treatment, it may take close to a month for the tiger to recover. Until then it will be fed with normal meat. Once the gum heals, then it will be left into the enclosure to fend for itself with live feed. It will then be gradually trained for a soft release into the forest,” he added.
The tiger was rescued when it was barely five-months-old with injuries caused by a porcupine attack at a tea estate in Valparai on September 28, 2021. It was found with sharp quills of porcupine pierced on to its body.
After the tiger recovered, Forest Department officials took up the ambitious project of re-wilding the cub for the first time in Tamil Nadu. On June 6, 2022, the tiger was released into the natural enclosure, spread over an area of over 10,000 sq ft with a den, water hole and trees. The animal was monitored round the clock through CCTV’s fixed inside the enclosure.
The big cat was gradually picking up the nuances of hunting by preying on live rabbits released into the enclosure. However, the falling off the canine teeth early this month had come as an impediment in its training process.