Toy tiger steps in to mother orphaned cubs in India

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.

Photos DNA/YouTube

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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