Basil wants rejected Tiger saved at any cost


By Ifham Nizam

The media was given an opportunity yesterday to witness how the new-born Tiger cub, at the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela, was bottle fed with a specially imported milk after its mother refused to feed it.

The Zoo’s new Director General Bhashwara Senaka Gunarathna said they were still not in a position to exhibit the animal to the public, though it was in good health.

"The animal didn’t get the much needed early milk, which contains colostrums, a protein which fights anti bodies, from his mother.This is a cause for concern," he said.

However, he said, technical and medical advice had been immediately sought from experts in Indonesia and Singapore, when the mother refused to nurse her cub.

He said that Enterprise Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had instructed Zoo authorities to do everything possible to save the cub regardless of the cost.

Dr. Jagath Jayasekara said that they had done their utmost to save the animal from any infection. "We feed the cub once every three hours with 30 millilitres of a special milk recommended for the cat family."

When the animal was born on Friday it weighed 900 gm. It weighs 1,200 gm now.

He said that usually mothers rejected their cubs for psychological reasons or if the cub was weak. "This is a common occurrence even in the wilds," he said.

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