Kabesa tiger tests negative for distemper but still not normal

According to the National Conservation Division (NCD)’s senior forest official, Ugyen Penjor, the Royal Bengal Tiger that was rescued from Kabesa, Thimphu is being observed and shall be released in the wild.  The tiger is currently being kept at the Rescue Centre, Taba.

NCD is providing every care to ensure the tiger is fit to be released. “We are constantly monitoring the health of the tiger. Once the condition improves, we will release the tiger back in the wild, away from the human settlement,” Ugyen Penjor said.

The tiger was first spotted in Kabesa, Thimphu on 21 March. The tiger was first speculated to be an old displaced male, however, after its capture, was identified as a female tiger. Upon examination, the tiger had sunken scrotum and a 3 inch cut wound which gave false identity of a female part. It was on 29 March that NCD confirmed that it is a male tiger of about 10 years of age.

NCD said, “We are observing the tiger and its behavior at the centre. There are no signs of aggression, which is not what the normal tiger in the wild is supposed to do. We have deployed CCTV cameras to monitor its movement, feeding behavior and we are providing medical treatment”.

The tiger was assessed for possibility of canine distemper but the rapid diagnostic test for rabies and canine distemper proved negative.

Ugyen Penjor said, “Canine distemper is a viral disease that affects wide variety of animal families including, dog, cat, pandas, etc. It affects the nervous system and result in disorientation.”

He said, “Sick animals are easily stressed. Therefore, we are keeping the centre closed to visitors. We have deployed CCTVs at several locations to monitor the tiger as well as people around. And we request visitors not to insist on visiting the tiger.”

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