Alert over Missing Tigeress
JAIPUR: Tracking has been intensified at the Ranthambore tiger reserve to locate a missing tigress. The officials are a worried lot more so as T-17 is currently nursing three 11-month-old cubs.
According to the officials, T-17 or 'Sundari' has not been with her cubs for the past few days. But worries mounted when efforts to locate the tigress by the department also proved futile. "Sundari has not been with her cubs since the first week of March. Everyone was hoping that she would return but since that hasn't happened, the officials pressed the panic button," sources said.
Sundari is around seven years old and is from the last litter of the most famous tigress of the park Machli. Sundari was born in 2006 along with two other female cubs. 'Machli was called T-16 and the three cubs were T-17, T-18 and T-19. T-18 was relocated to Sariska and T-19 is still at Ranthambhore," sources said.
Initially, Sundari occupied the area near the lake after departing from her mother Machli. But later, a male tiger T-28 made her leave the place. She finally found her own territory between Kachida and Badlav. Now, the lake area, the most visited spot by tourists, is occupied by T-19.
"Four trap cameras have been set up at various areas since Wednesday night. We have also deployed 30 persons, especially to hunt her out. She is precious to us and her absence is extremely worrying. No one had informed me of her absence till now," said forest and environment minister Bina Kak who will be leaving for the park to monitor the tracking systems personally on Friday.
With the mother gone, the onus has now again fallen on forest officials to feed the cubs. Often baits are tied for the cubs though sometimes the cubs do share kills by their father. ``It is unusual for nursing mothers to suddenly desert their young ones. The mother stays with the cubs at least till they are two years," sources added.
``It is a serious issue and all efforts must be made to track the tigress soon," said Rajpal Singh, member, state wildlife board.
"The Badlav area is a sensitive zone as it lies on the border area of the park. The area has a history of revenge killing by villagers," sources said.
The Ranthambore reserve just saw the death of a tiger on March 19 when the carcass of T-37 was suddenly spotted by tourists. She is said to have died of internal injuries.
Source article: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/h...w/19734524.cms