New Delhi (CNN)When park rangers in India discovered three orphaned tiger cubs, they knew they had a challenge on their hands.
Suspicious of humans and rejecting bottles, the rangers needed to get creative if they wanted to nurse the protected cubs back to health.
India’s tiger population is on the rebound after hitting a low in 2006 of 1,411. India is home to nearly 65% of the world’s tigers which number about 3,890, according to the latest figures from the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Tiger Forum.
Park rangers at the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh came up with the idea of fitting a stuffed toy tiger with synthetic nipples and milk bottles for the cubs to feed from.
“The farmers that set up the electrical wiring that killed the tigress are agriculture farmers. They want to protect their crops from herbivores such as deer. They laid down bamboo sticks and spread a naked wire and connected it to an 1100-kv line but this is illegal,” he said.
Pathak, who’s been working to protect tigers for more than 15 years, remains positive about the future of India’s national animal.
“The Indian government has come with the idea of creating a buffer zone around every national park and creating corridors between reserves so that the tigers can move, integrate and mix with other populations and their genes and continue to grow in numbers on their own.”