Park rangers in India have come up with an ingenious way to rehabilitate a trio of orphaned tiger cubs.
Daily News and Analysis India have documented the incredible situation after tigress T1’s death.
The big cat was electrocuted while walking over a fence on Jan. 19 around Sanjay Dubri National Park, Madhya Pradesh. But officials knew she had cubs, and wanted to help their chances of survival. They were captured a few days later and brought to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.
At just over a month old, the cubs were badly dehydrated and traumatized. Officials conceived the idea to offer the cubs a giant, soft tiger toy to stand in as mum. The dummy toy tigress would eventually be equipped with a milk bottle and synthetic nipples to feed the wee cubs.
DNA documented their journey and posted the videos on YouTube. Here they are getting used to a stuffed toy.
Then they started training for their new mother with teats.
And, voila. Here they are happily adopted by the toy mother tiger.
Mridul Pathak, a field director at Bandhavgarh reserve where the cubs were taken for rehabilitation, told CNN to cubs have come a long way.
“They were starving and not even able to walk properly. Had we not reacted immediately, they would have died,” Pathak told CNN.
“The rehabilitation of wild animals is a step-by-step process. Unlike human beings, we cannot use a needle and rehydrate the body because as soon as you use a needle on a wild animal, they get scared and most of them die so rehabilitation has to be done orally.”
And they’ve been thriving ever since.