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Stone Pelting on Tiger Cubs :Kanha Pench Corridor Becomes Conflict Zone

 Two tiger cubs- less than 6 month old- escaped the fury of a 5000 strong mob in a village located in Kanha-Pench corridor . Villagers tried to kill them by pelting stones when the cubs had reached a water body to quench their thirst. This issue  has highlighted again the plight of the fragmented tiger corridors. It also reminds the urgency to restore their sanctity. People Shouted Kill the Cubs Kill the Cubs  Wildlife is most vulnerable during summer, due to scarcity of resources. Water is the key limited resource inside jungles . Special monitoring ofwater holes should be carried out all along the corridors, to effectively deter such incidents, poaching of herbivores and poisoning of tigers and othercarnivores. In the scorching summer, the two cubs also reached a nearby waterbody . In the adjacent forest , the villagers were plucking tendu leaves- a minor forest produce  to  roll beedi , a thin cigarette or mini-cigar filled with tobacco flake and commonly wrapped in a tendu leaf. Th

Frame By Frame: Tigers Fight In Kanha National Park


Tigers Fight In Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park reverberated with the roars of two fighting tigers. They stood tall on their hind legs and charged each other aggressively blowing the dust from the dry forest ground . Their deadly paws opened as the tigers pounced upon each other roaring loudly exposing their deadly canines .They apparently fought for a female. She later moved away from the sparring stripes and they too calmed down. As the roars echoed through the jungle, other wild animals were frightened. Such fights  are major causes of tiger deaths in the wild. 

The Epic Fight

Tigers Fight In Kanha National Park

It happened on April 27 mornings in the Mukki zone of Kanha tiger reserve. Some tourists shot the epic battle on their   mobile phones. The two tigers -Neel Nalla Male and Bhoin Dabra fought ferociously.  The tigress known as Jhila Lime was believed to be the reason behind the big fight.  In India's tiger reserves, local guides and  drivers   give amusing names to the  big cats   . And these names are based on either the appearance of the  tigers or  after the names of their territories or some other reason.  As many as 3 skirmishes, each few seconds long, were recorded after the fight between Neel Nalla male and Bhoin Dabra male .  

Kanha has always been a paradise for wildlife photography.  Most of the time  such duals   take tourists by surprise and many of them are not ready to shoot. By the time they take out their equipment, they realize the fight is over. Field director of the park SK Singh said, “  The tigers fight most of the time for  domination of their territory. This ( April 27 clash ) could have happened for the female tigress present on the spot”.  He said that there were 10 to 11  big cats in the Mukki zone which is full of prey like spotted deer, wild boar, Neel Gai  and sambhar among others. There are four safari zones (Kanha, Kisli, Mukki and Sarahi) in which tourists can undertake their safari drives. Mukki is located towards Balaghat district of  the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh .

Fight Without Any Result 

Tigers Fight In Kanha National Park

As they wrestled thrice without any outcome , the female was seen emerging out from the woods. Neela Nalla male turned  back his head towards her and saw the tigress crossing the pathway meant for the four wheelers.  Wildlife tourists were amazed to witness the fight, especially the paws as tigers slapped each other. A tiger's paw can reach the size of 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm). It is estimated that the force of a tiger's paw swipe is around 10,000 lbs of force. Equipped with sharp claws at the tip of the paws, a tiger swipe is one of the main weapons. 

There are over 110 tigers in Kanha National Park spread over 1,945 square kilometers of core and buffer areas, besides 500 square kilometers of revenue area as tiger reserve. Kanha is one of the  tiger reserves of India where  tiger sighting is almost assured. Recently, the park was in the news for the wrong reasons . It was in headlines for the spread of Left wing ultras or naxalites in the national park. The Maoists  have also  killed staff members of the park, issuing a threat to the park workers.

It Could Have Been Fatal 

Tigers Fight In Kanha National Park

There are occasions when such fights resulted in tiger death.  In August 2020, a male tiger went missing in Panna tiger reserve after a deadly clash between two tigers identified as P123 and P431. The then field director of the park   KS Bhadoria later said, “Mating with the tigress (T6) was, perhaps, the reason behind the fight “.  One of the forest   guards remembers hearing the loud roars in the night while he was posted inside a  patrolling camp of the jungle. Later the body of P123 was found floating in Ken river. The fight took place right on the bank of the river .After the clash, the tiger was seriously injured and was missing. Next morning when the field staff reached the spot, they could not locate one of the injured tigers. Later  his body was found floating in the river. 

 Tigers of both sexes detect each other’s presence by mainly odour that they detect and can identify individually, explains tiger expert Valmik Thapar . “A tigress in oestrus or her reproductive cycle will be detected by the nearby male tiger who will follow her scent and find her”, he writes in  ‘The Sex Life of Tigers, Ramthambhore Tales’. He explains, “ Sometimes, when the territories of two males overlap, one of the males will either retreat or both will fight till one of them submits and runs away or is seriously injured. Where tiger density is high, there is a greater chance of such battles over the sexual rights on a female.”

Source: Still Frames from the Video  


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