25 Feb 2008, 0535 hrs IST,TNN
KOLKATA: The Bengal tiger that was brought to the city for treatment from Sunderbans on Friday, is recuperating in Alipore Zoological Gardens. Though the tiger is responding well to treatment, doctors say it is still not out of danger.
“For the first time since he was brought here, he kept his head in normal resting position on Sunday. This posture is considered to be good for a tiger to take rest. These are signs that it is recovering,” said divisional forest officer (South 24-Parganas) Subhendu Bandopadhyay.
“The tiger is taking normal diet and is discharging body waste normally. It is, however, too early to say whether he is out of danger. It is also not possible to say right now how many days the injured animal will take to recover fully,” said Alipore zoo deputy director Dr Piyali Chattopadhayay.
The tiger will be kept under round-the-clock of observation for a couple of days.
On Sunday, the tiger was given pork and saline water. Infection from the amputated left hind leg had started to spread to other parts of the body, but medication has kept the infection under control.
Doctors are still administering high doses of antibiotics so that septicemia does not set in.
The animal was at death’s door when it was rescued.
Animal experts fear that letting the maimed and ageing big cat out in the wild might not be the right option because it will find it difficult to hunt with a missing foot.
“If the tiger is set free in the jungle after its recovers, it might be difficult for it to hunt for food due to the injury. Whether it will be returned to the jungles or taken to Khayerbari Tiger Rescue Centre depends on his health,” said an officer.
Forest department officers want the tiger to stay in the zoo hospital for at least a fortnight before taking a final decision on its rehabilitation.
According to DFO Subhendu Bandopadhyay, an instance of a tiger being bitten on his legs by small sharks on the river was not heard in recent times.
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