Sharmili Mallick

One of the three cubs born on March 11 in Nandankanan Zoological Park died on Monday morning after being abandoned by its mother. The male white cub was born to tigress Rupa and tiger Rajesh.

The reason behind the death of the cub is yet to be ascertained. However, the condition of the other two cubs, including a normal coloured female cub and another white male cub, is stated to be stable, said authorities at the Nandankanan Zoo.

The three cubs were reportedly being hand reared by the Zoo authorities as Tigress Rupa, who had become mother for the first time, could not tend to the newborns.

The three cubs, including the one which died today, were being fed reconstituted milk as supplement, added reports.

Meanwhile, the two cubs and their mother have been under CCTV surveillance to monitor their health, added the Zoo authorities.

On the other hand, carcasses of two jumbos, including a baby elephant were found near Guhalia village in Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary under Nilgiri forest range of Balasore district on Sunday.

Forest officials rushed to the spot after receiving the news of the death of the elephants. Balasore DFO Bimal Prasanna Acharya, ACFO Sushant Jena, Kuldiha Forest Ranger Ananta Jena and Panchalingewar Forestor Bhagyshree Dwibedi also reached the spot and joined the investigation.

Similarly, Forest Veterinary Officer of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) Dr Piyush Soren along with a dog squad from Similipal reached the spot for investigation.

The Forest officials said the animals might have died due to some medical condition while the locals of Guhalia alleged that the elephants were killed by poachers as their tusks were missing.

“We heard the elephants were making loud screams on the day of the incident. Later, we heard an elephant has been found dead in the forest. Now, we learnt a carcass of another baby elephant was found by the Forest officials. This must be the handiwork of the poachers,” alleged a local.

Meanwhile, the Forest officials have also intensified patrolling in the region suspecting rampant poaching in the sanctuary.