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Lonely Tiger Returns Home After One Decade

If tigers are solitary creatures, don't they get lonely and depressed? An interesting question ran by Quora on July 29, 2017. About three years later, a tiger itself seemed to have answered this query.  This tiger lived , alone ,in Kuno Palpur   Ntional Park of Madhya Pradesh for 10 years, yes, one decade !   Recently the elderly tiger reached his home Ranthambhore National Park , almost 100 kms away, safely. Code named T38 by the officials of this wonderful tiger reserve of Rajasthan some time in 2006 -07, the big cat was known as “Ranthambhore ka Sher '' in Kuno,   the park awaiting the arrival of lions for three decades now. For this reason, Madhya Pradesh has not relocated any tiger in the park to increase   their number and for the past 3650 days, T38   was living absolutely unaccompanied   . Interestingly , there was no tigress around and T38 spent a bachelor’s life. The predator would hunt and was quite healthy. A tiger expert of Wildlife Institute of India (WII

World Awaits Another ‘Good News’ from Collarwali of Pench

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She is just 15 and already a legend. And she is as famous as a bollywood actress. One of the most fertile tigresses of the world, Collarwali of Pench tiger reserve has many stories linked with her. Her catwalk on the pathways of the jungle ahead of tourist gypsies has made her immensely popular world over. Wildlife photographers are delighted when she walks along with their vehicles giving them ample opportunity to click pictures.

But the incredibly fertile tigress is renowned more not for only giving birth to a record number of litters but also the success of their survival in the cruel world of the wild. The celebrated tigress has already given birth to 29 cubs in 8 litters, a world record of sorts.

Her bulging stomach has already given birth to rumours; rumours abound in the land of Mowgli that Collarwali is pregnant yet again. Foresters, guides, mahouts- all talk about the bulging stomach of the celebrity. But the news is yet to be confirmed. However, one thing is certain -her sibling Langdi is in the family way. But people are bothered more about Collarwali. Both the tigresses are progenies of BadiMada, yet another famous tigress of Pench.

Also read :Bhopal Tigers Do Have The Same Fundamental RightTo A Home As Do We

Motherhood Rarely Witnessed in the Wild

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Born in 2004-05, Collarwali gave birth to her first litter, of three cubs, in May 2008, when she was less than 3 years of age- to be precise 2 years and 7 months.  But it was a tragic experience for her . A first-time mother, perhaps she didn’t know how to take care of them. Very soon, all three died of pneumonia, reminisces a forest guard posted for a long time in the park. But she went into heat soon after and gave birth to four cubs, two each, males and females, in October 2008. They stayed with her for two years. The third litter comprises five cubs — one male and four females — in October 2010. Barely 19 months later followed the fourth one —this time one male and two females in May 2012. Nineteen months later in October 2013 came the fifth liter , all three males. The sixth one was in March 2015, when two males and two females were born. Three tigers with monikers T30, Chhota Male and Rayyakasa fathered these cubs.  In 2017, she delivered 3 more cubs followed by four cubs in January 2019.  The department of Post had issued a special cover envelope on the tigress in 2016, New Zealand and Canada too issued stamps on her in the same year. Tiger experts say 8 litters in a lifespan of 14 years is rare as a tigress normally has her first litter at the age of three and waits at least two years before the next one. In Collarwali’s case, it’s not just the number of litters but also the number of cubs in every litter that makes her special. Much has been talked about her by the wildlife experts about the reasons behind the success rate of fertility and survival of the cubs. “It depends on a variety of factors including the habitat and the prey around it. For long, Collarwali has been occupying one of the best areas of the reserve – a tapu or an island with plenty of water even in the summers because of the Pench river. There are plenty of  sambhars, cheetals ,wild boars and India gaurs –on an average over 100 per square km in the park. And she is agile enough to hunt. There is enough inspiration to breed, experts believe. But wildlife experts are worried also. They are concerned over her health when they talk about the possibility of the ninth litter. “Let’s hope it doesn’t happen. Will she be able to manage it”, a senior official said. “The forest officials had seen her mating. Her walk suggests that she is pregnant again. Almost the  whole staff of the park is monitoring her. But I will confirm this to you in 8-10 days about the good news”, one of the guides said.

Also read:  Protect This Wildlife Corridor ToSave The Ganges

The Radio Collar Tagged Forever

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This  tigress was born  at a time  when a serious tiger crisis was taking place in Sariska  followed by  poaching of tigers in Panna tiger reserve around 2007-08. Officially named as T15 in Pench, a collar was put around her neck by K Shanker, a former Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientist in 2009 that gave her the name  . Though the collar fell off a few years later, the name stuck for eternity. Stories of highly fertile tigresses like Collarwali , the famous Machchli of Ranthambore, BadiMada featured in the celebrated BBC documentary Spy in The Jungle by sir David Attenborough, Mai, the grand old tigress of Maharashtra’s Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve and  Chandi, a 10-year-old matriarch of  the neighbouring Umred-Karhandla, hold out hope for India’s tiger story. A guide in Pench  tiger reserve said   many big cats of T15’s  lineage are present in Pench and in the jungles as far as Satpuda tiger reserve . Actually,  all these tigers  belong to the family of BadiMada but her off spring –Collarwali - has eclipsed her mother’s fame.

Collarwalli Eclipses Popularity of Handsome Male Tigers

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Collarwali has been so famous that people wait for just one glimpse of the tigress. She is the darling of tourists and as they arrive at the park, they would express desire to see her. “Either they are informed by some tour operator or some hotelwallah or some guide and  even the first timers would have an idea about the celebrated tigress”, said an official . And she has never disappointed. The fearless tigress would simply walk past their vehicles obliging them with her darshans . There are occasions when she is not sighted; people have delayed their departure from the jungle for many days. At this age, she has eclipsed the popularity of some of the most handsome male tigers of the jungle including Tarzan, the famous L-Mark, Patdev or Trishul .” Pench ka poora daromdar  Collarwali pe hai”, commented a resort owner (  the whole responsibility of wildlife tourism of Pench is shouldered by Collarwali). Both Trishul and L-Mark are two dominant males ruling  large parts of the park. There is a mark similar to trident near the left cheek of Trishul while a pattern of  L-Mark is visible near the left cheek of the other tiger giving him  the name. But people are mad after charismatic Collarwali.

Comments

  1. Certainly a good reason to raise the Toast..the future of big cats is certainly in the claws of these beauties ...u go girl ..hope to hear about u in follow up stories.. egerly wating

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