Animals

Friendly tigress saved from burning forest turns pet at rescue centre | Dehradun News

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Nainital: The five-month-old tigress Shikha was frightened, weak and dehydrated when the Forest Department rescued her from a burning forest in Terai East, Nainital, in 2019. She was searching for her miserable mother. Officials searched for the cub’s mother, but there was no trace of her. Since then, forest officials have raised them themselves. Now, the two-and-a-half-year-old tigress is friendly at the Rani Bagh Rescue Center in Nainital and is like a pet to the staff who have raised her with great love and care.
She was briefly taken to the Nainital Zoo in 2020 to live with other tigers but was attacked by one of the tigers. Then Sheikha was taken back to the rescue center.
“Tigers like the Sikha, who have a playful and friendly nature, are not accepted by other big cats in the wild, and may be harmed by them. They search for easy prey, and take refuge in human habitats. While we are returning the animals to the habitats they were rescued from after treatment, this is not the case. The case with the Sheikha. She was rescued as a cub and her habitat burned. The rescue center is the only home she knows. In Rani Bagh, she is happy and never misses an opportunity to play with the staff,” said Forestry Officer Biju Lal.
Lal thinks the Sheikha may have to stay there forever.
Dr Himanshu Panjti, who treated the tigress at the center, told TOI that Sheikha was wild and aggressive when she was rescued. But she soon became friends with the employees who looked after her, as if they were her own family.
The Sheikha loves spending time with her caregivers. It cooperates when conducting medical examinations, and gladly permits vaccine shots, officials say.

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