The much maligned Sariska Tiger Reserve near Alwar in Rajasthan has got a new fan in Union Minister Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh. The Minister, who motored down to Sariska on his way back to Delhi from Jaipur on Friday evening, experienced his best-ever tiger sighting in the reserve the next morning. And it happened to be T-7, the most ferocious of tigers from Ranthambhore, now re-located to Sariska.
“It was fantastic!” Mr. Ramesh told The Hindu on phone before leaving Sariska. “It's the first time in two years that I came across a tiger at a range so close. It was posing for us!” he said, suggesting that the days of glory would soon return to the resplendent woods of Sariska.
“I could not believe when those who accompanied me told me that he was one of the most dreaded tigers,” Mr. Ramesh said. “He surely has changed and the animal I came across was anything but a rogue,” he said.
“It had rained in Sariska and the forest was looking very attractive. The sighting was at a distance of hardly eight metres,” said Rajasthan's Head of Forest Forces R.N. Mehrotra.
Mr. Ramesh, however, did not miss the fact that Sariska is completely devoid of cubs.
“It is a bit worrying that even almost four years after the re-introduction of tigers, there is not a single litter,” he said.
“We need to increase the tiger population here. For that at least three more females have to be around. They will come from Ranthambhore as bringing tigers from other States may take more time to work out,” he said.