KOTA: In good news for tiger lovers alarmed at the sharp decline in the big cat population, six new cubs were sighted at the national wildlife sanctuary in Ranthambore this year, taking their total number to 38.

The number of tigresses in the sanctuary is at present around 12 while the fully grown-up male tigers are six in number, forest department officials said and added together with these cubs their total number in the sanctuary has gone up to 38.

However, a tiger and a tigress which had left the sanctuary last year have not returned.

Forest department sources said the tigress, which had gone out, is at present in the jungles of Kailadevi and the male tiger has reached the Mahadev national sanctuary in Shivpuri in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.

Of the 20 tiger cubs present in Ranthambore sanctuary, two each are in Berda, Jelkho, Anatpura and Indala, three each in Jhalara, Kachida and sakdi, Gilaisagar, according to the sources.

Expressing satisfaction over the rising figure of tiger cubs in the sanctury, Forest Conservator of Ranthambore Tiger Project Indraraj Singh said it was a welcome development. He said 14 cubs spotted by the forest department last year while six new cubs had been sighted this year.

Tigress and cubs found dead

In a case of suspected poisoning by poachers, a tigress and two cubs were found dead in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh on Friday.

The carcass of the four-year-old tigress and the cubs, both nine months old, were found by shepherds in forest area at Sherkhanpally village in Hatnoora mandal in the district, forest department officials said. Post-mortem was conducted and samples of body parts were sent to the forensic science laboratory , they said. - PTI