Ranthambore tigress conceived after radio collar was removed from its neck

Ranthambore’s famed tigress Sundari, also identified as T-17, was sighted along with its three cubs in the Thamba Khan area on way to Jogi Mahal in the national park earlier this week. It was apparently acclimatising the young ones with her territory in the forests.

The tigress and the litter have been spotted on rare occasions in the tiger reserve since May this year, when the offspring were born. There was elation among wildlife enthusiasts in Rajasthan over the cubs’ birth.

State Forest & Environment Minister Bina Kak had asked officials to remove the radio collar fitted on Sundari in 2008, as it had become non-functional two years ago. Though the big cat had been mating for the past few years, she did not conceive.

Frolicking cubs

After the radio collar was removed from her neck, Sundari conceived and was delivered of healthy cubs. The pictures taken by Ms. Kak with her personal camera are the first capturing the tigress in all its grandeur without the gadget. The cubs are seen frolicking around their mother in the natural habitat.

Creating awareness

Ms. Kak, who has a passion for wildlife photography, said it was a rare treat to watch Sundari as a caring mother with its cubs, which are now six months old. She promptly sent a couple of exclusive pictures for the readers of The Hindu, saying this would generate awareness of conservation of the flora and fauna.

Corridor planned

Sundari’s movement is usually observed in the terrain around Padam Talab, Rajbagh Talab, Malik Talab and Kachita Valley in the park. Ms. Kak is considering creating a corridor from Ranthambore to adjoining Kailadevi to ensure a smooth movement of the big cats in view of their increasing population.

The Forest & Environment Department is planning to bring out a handbook, “Face to Face,” with useful information on tigers, for visitors to Ranthambore.