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Nepal Chitwan Tiger
Camera trap image of 'Tauke' | Photo courtesy of DNPWC/NTNC

On 21st June this year, a male tiger (dubbed by the rangers, ‘Tauke’ meaning big head), was captured in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. This unfortunate occurence was due to human-tiger conflict where Tauke killed a woman. The event is thought to have occured due to injuries sustained from a possible territorial fight with another tiger. It is speculated that upon losing the fight, the injured tiger made his way to the outskirts of a village where he was spotted a number of times before the fatal attack too place. Following the woman’s death, the local rangers chose to capture the tiger and remove him from the area.

Captured tiger Nepal
Captured after the attack | Photo courtesy of Babu Ram Lamichhane

Due to the possibility of continued human-tiger conflict, Tauke cannot safely be released back into the wild. It is believed that he is around 12 years old, an age considered relatively old for a wild tiger. Unfortunately, this means he will remain in captivity for the rest of his life. Had he been younger, efforts could have been made to relocate him to a different area, but his current health and age make this less feasible.

A new place to live

Currently the NTNC’s Biodiversity Conservation Center in Chitwan, Nepal are keeping Tauke in a small holding area that is far from adequate for his long-term needs. The Center is in the process of building an enclosure to house him for the rest of his life, and, they need help in order to fund this. For Tigers has agreed to take on the role of sponsor for this construction, as it will have a great impact on the lifetime welfare of this tiger.

NTNC’s Biodiversity Conservation Center have reached out to us on the background of our work in Thailand, and they have asked us toaid the construction of this new enclosure. This special project is urgent as we, and the centre, would like to get Tauke into a more welfare-friendly enclosure as soon as possible.

The half-constructed enclosure is 75x75 ft containing three separate compartments. We want to provide the funds needed for the separation fencing, a pond, cave and feeding facility as well as the labour costs. Excitingly, once all the funding and construction materials are provided, this project should take no more than two weeks to complete meaning Tauke could have access to his new living space very soon.

Help Tauke!

Once the initial construction is complete, we will be working closely with the Center in order to provide further enrichment items to assist in improving the welfare of Tauke as much as possible. In fact, a stipulation for our fundraising for the centre is that enrichment items such as scratching posts, pond and cave are provided. As Tauke is old, it is unclear how long he will live, especially with the potentially traumatic transition from wild to captive living, the injuries sustained from the fight, and health issues surrounding his worn down teeth With this in mind, the enclosure is being constructed for use after he is gone in the event that other such instances occur. Sadly, this is a likely outcome given the rise of human-tiger conflicts in recent years and the continuing reduction of tiger habitats in the area.

In order to get Tauke into this enclosure, we do need your help! Items required include:

· Vertical poles

· Pipe frames

· Service door

· RCC cave

· Water pond

· Labour

Currently, the final cost of this project is projected to be around £3000. We therefore would appreciate any support! Let’s get Tauke into an enclosure as soon as possible!

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