DNA analysis confirms Zoo's hunch of relationship between tigress, cub

DNA analysis confirms Zoo's hunch of relationship between tigress, cub

DNA analysis of two tigers that were brought to Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysuru, on separate occasions in the last few months, has revealed some interesting facts, which is sure to excite conservationists, and help put in place conservation measures.

According to B P Ravi, Executive Director of the Zoo, scientific investigation has established that two felines, a tigress and a cub, which were rescued separately by Forest department officials in Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, had a parent-offspring relationship.

The tigers, Ramya (8-10 years), and cub, Dhanush (less then one year), were found in the Metikuppe range on December 14, 2014, and January 15, respectively.

Both were sent to the Zoo for examination and treatment. While Ramya had survived the ordeal, Dhanush however succumbed to prolonged illness, shortly after.

Background
The tigress, weighing 100 kg, was found with wounds in the nail buds, knees and paws, while its teeth were broken. It was decided not to release the tigress back into the wild.

Subsequently, the Zoo received a tiger cub from the Range Forest Officer, Metikuppe Wildlife range, H D Kote taluk, on January 15.

The tiger cub was found along with two other cubs on the ring road near the Konanakundda stream in the Dattaghalli beat of Metikuppe section.

Of the three cubs, only this cub could be successfully treated. The cub, however succumbed to pneumonia on February 2, following lung infection and hematoma in the right kidney.

Geographic coordinates

“Since, both the tigress and the cub were received from the Nagarhole Tiger reserve, geographic coordinates of the captured sites were collected and based on the inputs provided by the field staff and veterinary officials, it was decided to verify whether there was any genetic correlation between the two animals received in the Zoo,” said Ravi.

Accordingly samples were sent to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, on February 3.

The CCMB, in its report, has  confirmed that Ramya and Dhanush were of tiger origin, indicating parent-offspring relationship.

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