The cubs, too young to be named or sexed, were born on November 14
Two of the three Royal Bengal tiger cubs, recently born at the Chittagong Zoo, have died.
The cubs, too young to be named or sexed, were born on November 14. The cubs were the firstborn of tiger couple Raj and Joya.
Confirming the matter to Dhaka Tribune, Dr Shahadat Hossain Suvo, Chittagong Zoo's acting curator and veterinary surgeon said the mother, Joya, stopped giving milk to her cubs and consequently two cubs died of starvation.
“After the first cub died on November 15, we decided to separate the two cubs from their mother. The remaining two cubs became very weak due to starvation. Later, another cub died on November 18,” said Dr Suvo.
“The surviving cub is now being bottle-fed. Comparatively, the cub is doing well but still not fully out of danger. It will take a few months for the 1.3 kg cub to recover fully,” Dr Suvo added.
Ruhul Amin, member secretary of Chittagong Zoo Executive Committee told the Dhaka Tribune that they have ensured maximum and round-the-clock care for the surviving cub.
“We have posted two zookeepers for the constant care of the surviving cub. Besides, it is being bottle-fed after every four hours,” said Amin, also Hathazari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO).
“We were monitoring the activities of the tigress Joya and her three newborn cubs with a CCTV camera installed at the cage. We saw that the tigress suckled her cubs for once and then stopped. Later, we decided to separate the cubs from their mother,” said Amin, adding that they were going to expand the cage so that the tigers feel comfortable in captivity.
In conversation with the Dhaka Tribune, noted wildlife biologist Prof Dr Monirul H Khan said that it was a good decision on the part of the zoo authorities to separate the cubs from their mother.
To a question, Dr Khan said that the wild animals may not behave normally in captivity.
“Captivity and first pregnancy may be two reasons for the abnormal behaviour of the tigress in question. The surviving cub should be kept in warmth,” said Dr Khan, also a teacher of the Zoology Department at Jahangirnagar University.
Currently, the number of the tiger family at Chittagong Zoo stands at six in total including two males and four females.
Set up on February 28, 1989, the zoo is located in a six-acre of hilly terrain in the city’s Foy’s Lake area.
The zoo now hosts tiger, lion, capped langur, hoolock gibbon, rhesus macaque, peafowl, fishing cat, jungle cat, barking deer, peacock, pied hornbill, large civet, leopard cat, griffon vulture, marsh crocodile, stork, yellow turtle, Indian python and Bengal fox.