8 Jun 2008, 0353 hrs IST,TNN
JABALPUR: After a recent wild tigers’ audit raised fears that the animal, one of India’s national symbols, could disappear from the country, Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Madhya Pradesh’s Seoni district has a reason to celebrate, as it has been blessed with 10 cubs within a fortnight.
The encroachment of humans on tiger habitats and increased man-animal conflict has been a key factor in the big cat’s decline, and the PTR authorities say they would keep no stone unturned to protect the cubs. “We are stepping up special vigil day in, day out to ensure cubs’ safety,” PTR deputy director P P Pai said, adding, “We have installed extra trap cameras at different locations in the Park to monitor cubs’ movements.” He said this would help the authorities to track their movements 24X7 and protect them from potential dangers.
Pai said this was for the first time the Reserve had been blessed with 10 tiger cubs in a span of a fortnight. “With this, tiger population in the Park has gone upto 61,” he said, adding, “Now the Reserve has 39 adult big cats and 22 cubs aged between 15-days to two-years.” Pai said the cubs are fit and doing well under the care of their mothers. “A tigress gave birth to four cubs, while two others littered three each,” he said.
The tiger census shocked the nation as it revealed that the country has just 1411 tigers left in the wild, a decline of 60% in a decade. Poaching and the loss of tiger habitats have been blamed for the slump.
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