A tiger turns to babysitting

A male tiger T-25 — father of two cubs left behind by tigress T-5 — has taken upon the responsibility of protecting the cubs. Tigress T-5 died of septicemia soon after giving birth to the cubs in February this year.

Generally tigress never allow its male counterpart to enter its “territory” till the cubs are grown up. The reason being since tigresses do not respond to the sexual overtures of the male till the cubs grow up, the male tigers have a tendency to kill the cubs to attract the tigress towards him.

Close watch
According to forest officials, tiger T-25 was spotted with the two cubs and forest officials are keeping a close watch on their movements.

This is a rare observation that may change the definition of animal parenting and the forest officials have written to the Wild Life Institute of India, Dehradun, to study this unique behaviour.

DFO Ranthambore national park Y K Sahoo said: “This is a rare behaviour on the part of a tiger. Tiger T-25 has been protecting the two cubs. Male tigers do not take an interest in the upbringing of their offspring. This seems to be very unique behaviour where a male tiger is protecting the orphan cubs.”

Pictures available
Sahoo said we have got pictures of the two cubs accompanying the tiger. “In a normal case this is a dangerous thing as the tiger at any time may turn against the cubs. We are keeping a close watch on the cubs and the tiger”.

The tiger was spotted with one of the cubs closely following the tiger, while the other keeping a distance.

“The cub keeping a distance is definitely a male cub, while the other is a female,” said K K Khandala, a tiger conservationist in the area.

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