Q. Consider the following statements regarding Re-wilding of wild animals.
1. It is the process of releasing abandoned or injured wild animals into the wild after a certain time
2. There is no Standard Operating Guidelines for re-wilding animals in India.
3. Rewilding is so far limited to Tigers alone in India.
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

[A] 1 and 2 only

[B] 2 and 3 only

[C] 1 and 3 only

[D] 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B

The  Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) is trying to reintroduce an abandoned nine-month-old cub into the wild, after rearing it in ‘captivity’ for two years. This issue has once again brought the controversial concept of ‘re-wilding’ of abandoned or injured animals under the lens. 

What is ‘Re-wilding’? 

  • The Standard Operating Guidelines laid down by the National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA) under Section 38(O) of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 provide three ways to deal with orphaned or abandoned tiger cubs: 
  • The first is to make an effort to reunite the abandoned cubs with their mother. 
  • Second, if a reunion of the cub with its mother is not possible, then shift the cub to a suitable zoo. 
  • Third, reintroduction of the cub into the wild after a certain time when it appears that the cub is capable of surviving in the wild independently. This is what is known as ‘Re-wilding’. 

Rewilding in India: 

  • Rewilding is not limited to cats. There have been efforts to reintroduce other endangered species into the wild after rearing them in captivity. 
  • For Example: Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS) in collaboration with the Haryana Forest and Wildlife Department has been running a vulture conservation centre named ‘Jatayu’. 
  • Under this, several pairs of endangered gyps species, including the white-backed, the long-billed, and the slender-billed have been successfully introduced into the wild. 

Read more: Explained: The ‘re-wilding’ of wild animals, and the challenges it involves