Tiger adapts to Sariska, makes first kill
30 Jun 2008, 0738 hrs IST, Anindo Dey,TNN
JAIPUR: The king has made its mark! The three-and-half-year-old tiger that was relocated to Sariska Tiger Reserve on Saturday killed it’s first prey. The victim was a young deer introduced into the enclosure, where the tiger is housed, by forest workers late Saturday.
“It is a good sign, indicating that the tiger has recovered from the initial shock that it would have got into after the tranquillisation. Sometimes tigers kill but do not eat. In this case too initially the tiger didn’t eat its prey but later consumed a portion of it,” said an overjoyed director of the reserve R S Somashekhar.
He added that the tiger is in good health and has been behaving normally. “The first three days are critical. This is the time they take to recover from the stress of being relocated to a new area. In this case too the tiger has been preferring to remain behind bushes in the enclosure and is rarely coming out in the open. It is only by chance that the patrol party can sight him from atop the watch tower near the enclosure,” he added.
The reserve would be getting the next big cat this time a tigress from Ranthambore in about a week’s time, but only after the first tiger adjusts itself to the new environs.
A separate enclosure has been built close to the first one at Nayapani for the second arrival. The relocation of tigers is an effort towards the successful re-establishment of tigers at Sariska after they were all poached in
Studies by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, has shown that the Sariska reserve has a capacity of housing upto 50 tigers. “After tigers are introduced in pairs at the reserve we hope that they would breed. We are looking at a target of 21 tigers in the years to come. For any further increase in the numbers we would have to look afresh at the constant interference of outside elements here at the park,” said P R Sinha, director, WII.
Sinha added that apart from reducing outside interference, more tigers or tigresses may also be needed to be introduced. “At that stage we may get these animals either from Ramthambore or anywhere outside as long as we can ensure they are Royal Bengal tigers,” he said.