Panna gets male tiger from Pench

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Panna gets male tiger from Pench

Milind Ghatwai Posted online: Sunday , Nov 08, 2009 at 0443 hrs

Bhopal : The plan to repopulate Panna Tiger Reserve has gone a step further with the successful translocation of a male tiger from Pench. The three-and-a-half-year-old male was taken by road to Panna, a distance of more than 400 km, to join two tigresses shifted early this year. The male was released into a one-hectare enclosure on Saturday morning. “The tiger will be radio-collared and released into the wild after a few days,” Park’s field director R Srinivas Murthy told The Sunday Express.

The tiger reached Panna around 10.45 pm but showed no signs of distress despite the 12-hour road journey, Murthy said. One tigress each from Bandhavgarh and Kanha had been shifted to Panna months ago but the translocation of a suitable male took a long time.

Males had been identified in Bandhavgarh and Kanha but the translocation was stopped on the advice of Wildlife Institute of India experts who expressed fears about inbreeding saying they could be related to the tigresses already shifted.

While the genetic report on Kanha and Bandhavgarh tigers is still awaited, authorities shifted focus to Pench where a dozen males had been identified over the last two months. A WII team had been camping in the park for a long time but the translocation could not take place because sighting the males was not easy.Pench’s deputy field director O P Tiwari said the suitable male was located in Gumtara range by 9.45 am on Friday.

After it became clear early this year that Panna had lost all its big cats, the Centre and the Madhya Pradesh governments had set in motion a process to repopulate the park by shifting males and females from other parts in the state.The Centre has given a nod for one more tiger and two tigresses to be shifted to Panna.

Incidentally, monitoring one of the two translocated tigresses has not been easy for Panna authorities because its radio-collar is not functioning.

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