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Tiger takes over explosives factory

A tigress has chosen an abandoned explosives factory in western India as a den to raise her cubs.

The animal was spotted with four two-month-old cubs in Maharashtra Explosives Limited, about 30 miles from the city of Nagpur.

The defunct factory has been closed for the past decade. The dense lantana thickets and trees that have overwhelmed most of the site provide a perfect place for the feline and her nurturing cubs.

The site is not far away from the Bor Wildlife Sanctuary - a reserve which is home to tigers, panthers, bears, bison, blue bulls, chinkara, wild boars and barking deer.

Belinda Wright, founder and executive director of Wildlife Protection Society of India, said: "She must have wandered out of her area in the Bor sanctuary and come into the factory which is about a thousand acres in area.

"There's lots of wild boar in there and right now the idea is to keep people out it. As soon as the monsoons arrive, she will move out of there and back into the park as the water is replenished."

Members of a local trust have obtained permission from forest officials to supply water inside the park for the tigress and her cubs. A special team of forest officers have been appointed to take care of the family and villagers have been asked to stay away from the area.

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The news has been welcomed among conservationists after the plummeting tiger population in two reserves in a nearby state sent shock waves across the community.

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