Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The young tigress flown into the Sariska Tiger Reserve from the Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan on February 25 has since been released into the wild. The animal, third of the big cats to be released in Sariska as part of a tiger re-introduction package, has been traced to the Bhagani area in the 881 square km reserve with the help of signals emanating from a radio collar fitted around its neck. The young feline appears to have adjusted well merging with the mélange of green foliage there.

Let out in the forest

After the tigress was flown in by an Indian Air Force helicopter it was kept in a special enclosure for observation before releasing it into the wild. The release of the latest tiger into the reserve without any hitch has come as a reassurance to experts of the Wildlife Institute of India and the Rajasthan Forest Department who are also happy about Madhya Pradesh following the example they had set by moving one young tiger from the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve to the Panna National Park a day before.

“The animal was totally normal. So we released it into the open forest on February 27. As in the case of the first tiger released to the reserve in July 2008, this tigress also moved into the Bhagani area, reclaimed from the forest settlers in 2007,” said Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) P. S. Somasekhar here on Thursday.

“Initially we were a little worried about the tigress after receiving reports from Dausa informing us about sighting a tiger with a collar there. But it turned out to be either a prank or a false alarm after sighting a hyena,” he noted.

A good sign

Perhaps the tigress going straight to the Bhagani area, from where 21 families of forest settlers were shifted out to Barod Rundh village along the Jaipur-Delhi stretch of National Highway No.8, is a good sign. As such the Tiger Task Force constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after the disappearance of all tigers from Sariska in 2004-05 had sought shifting of the villages from the core area of the park as one of the conditions for re-introduction of the tiger.