Calvin Klein Perfume Could be the Unusual Weapon to Rescue Tiger in Telangana

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The forest department’s latest plan, recommended by the monitoring committee formed to rescue K4, is using a CK perfume to try and lure her.

 

New Delhi, Sept 28: Her life is constant agony. A wire snare cutting through her stomach, the tigress K4 in the forests of Telangana needs urgent medical attention. Her survival might depend on a fragrance, specifically, Calvin Klein’s Obsession (For Men).

The nearly three-year-old tiger was first seen with the wire snare around its abdomen over a year ago. She is one of the four cubs born to the legendary Phalguna, a tigress credited with rejuvenating the tiger population in the state who has since been represented in a stamp released by the Indian Postal Department. But with K4 reaching maturity, her life hangs in the balance with the snare tightening with each day, as she grows.

The forest department’s plans, which have largely centered around attempting to lure the tigress with bait, have proved futile. The latest plan, recommended by the monitoring committee formed to rescue K4, is using the perfume to try and lure her.
The idea has its genesis in a discovery in New York that has since aided biologists studying big cats globally. In 2010, Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo in New York was trying to find new ways to get cheetahs in front of camera traps. Of the 24 fragrances which were experimented with, scientists found that spraying the Obsession For Men near them drew the cats for longer than other scents. Since then, researchers have also used the fragrances in Guatemala, where scientists were able to replicate the success to track jaguars and even record the mating rituals of the notoriously elusive big cats.

Vidya Athreya of WCS-India said, “A WCS-Guatemala scientist started using the scent Obsession in 2007 when they were studying the jaguars there. They found that camera traps that had the perfume station were more likely to get jaguar visitations. Often different species of predators come to check out the scents of other species and this could be a reason why Obsession which is said to have cicerone, extract from the scent glands of civets might make another predator curious.”

Back in India, the efforts to track and rescue K4 have been hampered by the rain. The dense undergrowth that has followed has made it even harder to track the big cat, said officials. With the rescue operation to restart on October 1, officials are yet to take a final call on using the perfume.

Athreya added, “This tigress has been walking around with a snare around her belly for a long time and likely to result in her death. It is imperative that she be tranquillized as soon as possible and the snare removed.”

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