12 tiger cubs born in Ranthambore park; relief for government
Sawai Madhopur (Rajasthan): The birth of 12 tiger cubs at the Ranthambore National Park in the past two years has come as a huge relief to the State government, facing criticism over the disappearance of striped cats from the Sariska Reserve.
Domestic and foreign tourists are pouring in to see these cubs at the reserve, about 170 km from Jaipur and known to be one of the best parks in the country.
A senior forest official told PTI here that “as many as 12 cubs were born in the past two years, taking the total cubs to 16 and number of tigers to around 40.”
In zone three of Sawai Madhopur range, three cubs around four months old were sighted by tourists while in zone five in Chiroli unit, two tiger cubs were born last year, he said. In the same zone in Kachida unit, three cubs were born nearly two years ago and in Wagda unit two, another was born a month ago, a guard said.
In zone four, two three-month-old cubs were sighted recently by the officials during tracking movements.
To study their dispersal during adulthood, the National Tiger Conservation Authority has asked the Wildlife Institute of India to radio-collar at least five cubs. “One cub has already been radio-collared while we are in the process of radio-collaring the other four,” an official from WII said. Radio-collaring would help keep track of the cubs when they attain adulthood and “visit” new areas in the forests, he said.
The 2005 census had recorded 26 tigers in Ranthambore against 40 in 2002-03.
Experts believe their number has increased after strong security measures, better breeding facilities and availability of good prey within the reserve area ? where sambhars, neel gai and cheetals are found in large numbers.
During the last three years, over 50 poachers had been arrested in Sariska and Ranthambore.
The Ranthambore National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 and was brought under the Centre’s Project Tiger in 1974. It got the status of a national park in 1981.
Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007
For The Tiger
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